Word of the Day: Agnotology

Definition: “the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt.”

According to John Quiggin, an agnotological belief acts as a political shibboleth, “that is, an affirmation that marks the speaker as a member of their community or tribe. Asserting a belief that would be too absurd to countenance for anyone outside a given tribal/ideological group makes for a good political shibboleth.”

Example: The belief that February 4th was the launch of a civilian-military revolt rather than an old fashioned coup attempt.

Hat tip: Chait.