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Everyone in America is Totally Insane - by John Ganz:

In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “I discover that in most of the operations of the mind, each American appeals to the individual exercise of his own understanding alone. America is therefore one of the countries in the world where philosophy is least studied, and where the precepts of Descartes are best applied.” Everyone here believes they can figure out everything for themselves, so we have an ever-growing panoply of nutty theories. Only luck and application divides the brilliant entrepreneur who comes up with a new invention by going against to conventional wisdom and the raving crackpot on the corner or the internet message board. We can still see a lot of these solipsistic and even paranoiac tendencies in American thought today, even among the putatively educated. For instance, the belief attested to among many tech bros that we’re living in a “simulation.” This again preserves an inherent rationality and design in the universe. All of the odd and incongruent things that crop up are given as signs of the existence of the simulation, just as in a conspiracy theory, disconfirming facts are just used as further evidence of how deep it really goes.

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