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Medicine | Infostorms


How to Take Information Punches and Save Democracy

Hendricks, Vincent F., Hansen, Pelle G.

2014, XV, 148 p. 16 illus.

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  • Based on new insights from philosophy, logic, social psychology, behavioral science and economics
  • Explains how to navigate in the information age – from taking the wrong way out of the airport gate to making bad calls in affairs of state and democracy
  • Shows how information is used to enlighten but also manipulate people, opinions and markets

The information society is upon us and with it comes the constant barrage of information accessible wherever, whenever. This book explores the role of knowledge (or lack thereof) prevalent in society, and investigates the dangers lurking in information technology and democracy as a whole.


Information is a condition for a robust democracy; people should vote based on sound information. But sound information doesn’t come easy and without labor. It must be properly handled and formatted before it is useful for deliberation, decision and action. In the information age, understanding the means by which information is processed becomes a crucial democratic instrument for the individual as well as the group.


With points of departure in philosophy, social psychology, economics, and choice- and game theory, Infostorms shows how information may be used to improve the quality of personal decision and group thinking but also warns against the informational pitfalls which modern information technology may amplify. Covering topics including the continued war efforts, the social media success, polarization in politics, stock, science or opinion bubbles and what it really is; this book’s broad approach offers an excellent overview on information and valuable guidance on how to take information punches.

”This book should be read by everyone interested in network formation and researchers interested in decision making behavior. ”


- Robert A. Becker, Professor of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington



“The result is a showpiece of socially responsible fundamental science.”

- Johan van Benthem
, Professor of Logic and Philosophy, University of Amsterdam & Stanford University



“Drawing on many different disciplines and traditions, Infostorms offers an analysis of these forces that is indispensable for everyone who is invested, as we all should be, in the value and the future of democracy.”


- Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University; University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University          

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » bandwagon effects - belief aggregation - belief polarization - bubbles in science and society - bystander effects - crowd-sourced opinion - cyber-bullying - framing effects - free choice and democracy - how information is used to enlighten but also manipulate people - information and democratic processes - information and manipulation - information technology - informational cascades - irrational group behavior - knowledge and information - lethal logic - likes as public signals - pluralistic ignorance - postfactual democracy - social media and group thinking - upvotes and crowd-aggregated opinion - upvotes and public opinion - voting in information age - world wide web and gathering information

Related subjects » Medicine - Political Science

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