Daily Resource Highlight - 9/20/2021

Posted by on September 20, 2021 at 1:55 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

September 15, 2021 - Learning How to Ignore in the Digital Age

How do you determine if a website is legitimate or not? If you’re like me and over 98% of high school students in Professor Wineburg’s experiment, your first instinct is to click through the website to scrutinize its offerings and get a “feel for it.” This is what we were taught to do in school, and it can lead to us being duped / wasting time on a climate change website backed by the fossil fuel industry.

To avoid these traps, Prof. Wineburg and AllSides suggest we change how we approach resources in the digital era. Instead of dwelling on the unknown resource, we need to learn to rely on others who have already done the hard work. By doing so, we can better understand if a resource is worthy of our attention, or if it should be ignored. To put it differently, we need to understand that “no one is immune to the slippery ruses plied by today’s digital rogues.”

Of course, we also need to be wary of who we are relying on for “fact checks.” Progressives and conservatives tend to have their preferred fact checkers, who often confirm our biases and worldviews. These so-called “fact checkers,” with the help of a multitude of algorithms, can lead us down a dangerous path of moral superiority, which in turn contributes to toxic polarization. In other words, influencers from both the left and right bear responsibility for our worsening civic climate.

Today at 2 PM ET, the Bridge Alliance’s own Debilyn Molineaux will join a panel to discuss Toxic Polarization: What's the Left Got to Do With It? This panel -- convened by the Alliance for Peacebuilding -- will take a hard look at how the progressive movement has helped to drive a wedge between Americans. They will also discuss what progressives need to do to be part of the solution. If you’re politically progressive, like me, this is a great opportunity to take a hard look in the mirror and understand how we can be better bridge builders.

September 16, 2021 - Let’s Talk About Infrastructure...No Seriously, Let’s Talk

America’s infrastructure is in sore need of some upgrades. So much so that in an era where getting 60 votes in the Senate feels like a Herculean task, 69 Senators were able to agree on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. But Democrats have set their sights on something much bigger, and are working to pass a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill through reconciliation.

This begs the question of what exactly is infrastructure? We can all agree that roads and bridges are infrastructure, but what about child tax credits and healthcare? And how much money should we invest in “infrastructure” when we are already facing record-setting deficits?

On September 20th at 8 PM ET, AllSides Talks will host a number of conversations to discuss exactly these questions and more. AllSides Talks Infrastructure will bring together Americans from across the political spectrum to discuss the impact of infrastructure in their communities and what they think our representatives in government should do about it.

Bridge Alliance members AllSides, Civic Genius, Living Room Conversations, and National Institute for Civil Discourse are all working together to make this event a spectacular success. Our friends at FixUs are also involved.

As you prepare for that event, check out Voice of the People’s report on the 2022 Reconciliation Bill. VOP conducts immersive polling on important policy matters by briefing respondents using vetted arguments both for and against the various proposals. The report shows strong support regardless of party for 14 of the bill’s key provisions. On the other hand, Republican respondents came out against 5 of the provisions. See which provisions were more and less popular by clicking here.