Fake news is in the news, part of the nauseating task of dressing the ugly wound of the presidential election. The OED has named “post-truth” its word of the year, and the Republican candidate for president aligned himself with the kind of wilful confusion that is known to be a deliberate tool of autocratic regimes.
Thinking today about an old, abandoned line of research of mine. How about this: when information is cheap, knowledge is expensive.
A topic that I’ve researched a bunch over the years is the interaction between people in a network of relationships and an outsider who wants to tell or sell them something. You know something about the structure of the network that people belong to: who talks to who. Which people do you send messages or promotions to?