Lower levels of literacy are linked to a tendency to embrace simplistic explanations for complex events.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkhema on Upsplash.

“Bill Gates admitted the COVID vaccine will change our DNA forever”

“The government knows masks don’t work. They’re trying to control you.”

“Secret suitcases full of ballots appeared in the middle of the night! #StopTheSteal”

“Photo of a doctor standing in front of empty hospital beds proves that coronavirus pandemic is a hoax.”

Why do millions of people actually believe this stuff?

It’s easy to label anti-vaxxers, COVID-19 deniers, QAnoners, and people who think the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump as uneducated…


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Following the calamitous blow of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, millions of stunned Democrats cried, drank, slept, raged, and mourned, but then they dusted themselves off and got to work on “resisting” the presidency of Donald Trump. The rejection of Trump’s ascendance to the Oval Office was never about contesting the election results, but about resisting the normalization of this oafish and egotistical Manhattan real estate billionaire and reality TV star as the leader of the world’s most powerful country.

Admittedly, the nascent anti-Trump resistance movement, to which even Hillary Clinton herself publicly committed, was a visceral reaction to the…


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It looked like an innocent enough Facebook post, and fairly typical of what your well-meaning friend might share: “Why is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer in Georgia not the biggest story in America?!” You read this and ask yourself the same thing. “YEAH, why isn’t it? Oh my God, did this really happen?” The image of 39 scared and missing children huddled together in a cramped trailer is horrifying.

You then notice your friend has prefaced her post with the comment, “I think we all know why.” Wait, we do? You think, “Oh, maybe it’s because…

Shannon Gillies

Educator. Canadian. Former book publishing and advertising rep. I used to travel.

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