MIB: Misinformation & the Overton Window

What range of ideas are tolerated in public discourse? How and why do previously forbidden ideas and behavior that were once verboten, become tolerated?

Those were some of the questions that led Rex Sorgatz to write a book (that may have the longest title ever) “The Encyclopedia of Misinformation: A Compendium of Imitations, Spoofs, Delusions, Simulations, Counterfeits, Impostors, Illusions, Confabulations, Skullduggery, Frauds, Pseudoscience, Propaganda, Hoaxes, Flimflam, Pranks, Hornswoggle, Conspiracies & Miscellaneous Fakery.”

Sorgatz explains what the Overton Window is, why we don’t waste time debunking Flat-Earthers, whether immigrants are rapists, and if “there are good people in both sides” of Nazi/White Supremacist rallies.

He began work on the book long before this election cycle; indeed, the word “Trump” only appears in passing in a single footnote. Instead, the book focuses on how easily we allow ourselves to be fooled — or how we fool ourselves.

His favorite books are here; transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Barbara E. Kahn, Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, author of The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption.