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Produced By Aaron Ferguson

Dec 1, 2020

This is my answer to a question that popped up in The Social Exchange Facebook group (The link to the group is here )

It was a good question that got me thinking about to make headway on important issues that many of us are so incredibly divided on. 

I've been talking about recording my responses to FB questions in podcast form for a long time now, and so that starts now!  

Note: It's not important whether you agree or disagree with my own beliefs / conclusions-- what's important is that you get to listen to the way I form beliefs (which are always subject to change given appropriate evidence). 

I'm going out on a limb to think through an important issue, out loud, and in good faith... even though it feels like it could be a little risky to do so. And I encourage all of you to do the same whenever you can!  I also encourage you to try to notice, as much as you can, when others are making themselves vulnerable for the sake of reasoned dialogue, and to respond accordingly. 

So I hope you enjoy the one-off episode... I'll create more in the future. 

Below is the question that I'm responding to, followed by a list of time-stamps by topic. 

- - - - - - - - - - 


-----------Here's the question that I'm responding to--------------- 

"I know Zach has talked about cognitive dissonance in this space previously. It’s worth another discussion as I cannot comprehend that thousands upon thousands people, especially now in South Dakota, still believe the Pandemic is a concoction of the fake news. They deny they are suffering from the virus and tell hospitals there is another reason they are sick because Covid-19 is not real. 

Even the governor, Kristi Noem, continues to say, “My people are happy because they are free” in response to mandating masks and other restrictions. All the while the test positivity rate in SD is an astonishing 58%. I know SD is not the only state with this dissonance. What will it take, what can it take for these people to accept the science and the reality of this insidious virus?"


---------------Time Stamps-----------------

0:00 - 2:00 Discussion about The Social Exchange Facebook group and my basis for creating today's episode

2:00 - 2:55 Reading today's question from TSE Facebook group. 

3:00 - 5:25 Disclaimer about this episode's format

5:25 - 11:15 What is cognitive dissonance (with examples)? 

11:25 - 14:05 Turning the question inward (before trying to change others' beliefs, , it's wise to inspect one's own beliefs for blind-spots and errors) 

14:05 - 15:48 Zach's personal beliefs about COVID 19 (epidemiology + implications)

15:48 - 16:54 Zach states his level of confidence that his beliefs re: COVID are true

16:54 - 22:33 Zach's personal beliefs about our country's response to COVID (how we ought to respond) 

22:33 - 22:55 Zach states his level of confidence that his beliefs re: appropriate COVID response are true. 

22:55 - 28:09 What might people in South Dakota believe about COVID 19 and appropriate COVID 19 responses?  And why might they believe these things are true?

28:09 - 29:13 Should we (or someone) try to convince citizens of South Dakota to change their beliefs re: COVID 19 and appropriate COVID 19 response? (If so what should we suggest that they change their minds about?)

29:13 - 32:02 How can we convince COVID-19 deniers, more generally, to acknowledge the reality of the situation? 

32:02 - End "In Summary"