'Finding Common Reality' With Michael Patrick Lynch on Tuesday's Access Utah

Jun 6, 2017

Credit Michael Patrick Lynch / University of Connecticut

Michael Patrick Lynch is featured in a TED talk about "Finding Common Reality." In his talk, Lynch explains the future of how we know information is true. Just because we can Google information does not mean the information is accurate. And even more  surprising, Lynch explains how we are not just polarized in our opinions or values, but in the facts we learn. 

Lynch explains how wide swathes of the public live in very different information bubbles and says we are polarized not just over values, but over the facts. He discusses how smart people at places like Google and Facebook are working to fix our technology and to redesign our digital platforms in a way that makes them less susceptible to polarization. And, he explains that to solve the problem of knowledge polarization, we've got to understand that we live in a common reality. 

For Lynch, common reality relies on three things:

1. Belief in truth

2. Encouraging the pursuit of more active ways of knowing about the world 

3. Intellectual humility, which he says is "seeing your worldview as open to improvement by the evidence and experience of other people."

Lynch is the director of the humanities at at the University of Connecticut and is leading UCONN's Humility and Conviction in Public Life project. He is also the author of "The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data." He joined host Tom Williams Tuesday to discuss his ideas about common reality and the three principles on which it relies.