In 1961, the late historian and former Librarian of the Library of Congress Daniel Boorstin wrote The Image: A Guide to Pseudo Events in America. 1961 was before television, and now social media and the internet, became one “ of the most powerful forces in American life”.
In the opening pages of “The Image, Boorstin describes how we have used our resources and progress to “create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life”. He describes the condition as national self-hypnosis where each of us “provides the market and the demand for the illusions which flood our experience.
Over a half a century ago, Boorstin, described an America where citizens are “less interested in whether something is a fact than in whether it is convenient that it should be believed. Practitioners of pseudo-events are skilled in creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
Near the end of his book, he observes that we have become more accustomed to testing reality by the image and find it harder to once again test the image by reality. As a result, “it becomes harder to moderate our expectations, to shape expectations after experience and not vice versa.”
The purpose of realitybasedpolicy.com is to challenge the illusions that dominate public policy discussions, especially those dealing with energy, environmental issues, and the general willingness to accept government actions that undermine our economic well being and future.