The elite’s blind spots and the illusion of truth with Gillian Tett
In this episode of In Reality, host Eric Schurenberg sits down with Gillian Tett, Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large for the Financial Times, US. Gillian is also trained as an anthropologist, which gives her a unique perspective on the tribal divides within American society. If you believe that your grasp of reality is the only legitimate one, prepare to be challenged.
Anthropologists, Gillian explains, view sub-cultures as self-contained. The belief in conspiracies may seem incomprehensible to most In Reality listeners, but it makes sense to groups who feel abandoned and belittled by elites. All of us have trouble seeing our biases as anything other than ground truths. For example, elites in media, government, entertainment, academe, and so on, regard command of language as an indisputable sign of seriousness and status. For other tribes in America, articulateness is irrelevant. What matters instead is loyal adherence to the tribe’s fears and grievances. For members of those groups, the facts presented by institutions like the media and legal system are suspect on their face. The only information that is really trustworthy is what’s conveyed by other members of the tribe.
Gillian and Eric take the anthropologist’s view of a wide range of contemporary news events: Why the best way to understand Trump supporters is to attend professional wrestling; what Trump’s use of the neologism “bigly” reveals about professional media’s blind spots; and why whistleblowers are disproportionately women. Listen, and prepare to confront your own blind spots.