Delusions, Conspiracy Theories, and the Internet

When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want.”

—Steve Jobs (Wired magazine interview, 1996)

Conspiracy theories are a hot topic these days, with increasing relevance in our post-truth world. The recovering political reporter turned freelance writer Jake Flanagin reached out for an interview on the topic for an article for the New Republic. Here’s the full transcript of our interview:

Is it fair to say that the Internet, and specifically social media, can indulge and/or exacerbate an inclination toward delusion?

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