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  1. #1
    svetlana14 is offline Junior Member
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    cognitive hierarchies

    Dear All,

    In his article "The Pandemic and Political Order" Francis Fukuyama wrote last summer that "Another reason for pessimism is that the positive scenarios assume some sort of rational public discourse and social learning. Yet the link between technocratic expertise and public policy is weaker today than in the past, when elites held more power. The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble. That is hardly an ideal environment for constructive, collective self-examination, and some polities may remain irrational longer than they can remain solvent."

    I am woundering what do you think the expression (term) "cognitive hierarchies" would mean in the context. My version is that it is a sort of technocratic government (technocrats), which "driven by their cognitive "problem-solution mindsets".

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Jan-2021 at 13:37. Reason: removing unnecessary bolding and improving format

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: cognitive hierarchies

    Doesn't Fukuyama explain the term earlier in the article?
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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  4. #4
    svetlana14 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: cognitive hierarchies

    Unfortunately, he didn't.

  5. #5
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: cognitive hierarchies

    Quote Originally Posted by svetlana14 View Post
    Dear All,

    In his article "The Pandemic and Political Order,
    " Francis Fukuyama wrote last summer, "Another reason for pessimism is that the positive scenarios assume some sort of rational public discourse and social learning. Yet the link between technocratic expertise and public policy is weaker today than in the past, when elites held more power. The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble. That is hardly an ideal environment for constructive, collective self-examination, and some polities may remain irrational longer than they can remain solvent."

    I wonder what do you think the expression (term) "cognitive hierarchies" means
    in the context.

    He just means we're getting dumber. The writing is needlessly murky an example of the very elitism he's complaining about.


    My version is that it is a sort of technocratic government (technocrats), which are
    "driven by their cognitive "problem-solving mindsets".

    If you're defining cognitive hierarchies, you're reading too much into the expression. If you're summarizing the entire passage, that's only a piece of it.


    Thank you.
    You're welcome!
    Last edited by GoesStation; 24-Jan-2021 at 18:20. Reason: Add a correction to the quoted message.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. #6
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: cognitive hierarchies

    To put it very simply: If I know what you're thinking, and you know what I'm thinking, then we can together make more rational decisions as fellow members of a society.

    The pessimistic picture he's putting forward is that public discourse has become (and the implication is that it will continue to become) less rational.

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