We are living in the dumbest period of modern American history, where our centering institutions have destabilized, our governing social norms seem unenforceable, and our fast-food restaurants routinely insult one another on Twitter. Into this breach have stepped myriad articulate charlatans, aggro-provocateurs, and other confident dullards who seek to capitalize on the end of authority by using the internet to proclaim their own truths. Their goal is to convince the world’s least-informed people that they are actually the most-informed people, and they are very good at their jobs.
These grifters, who include the president of the United States, profit by obscuring facts for personal gain. They are working an angle, all of them: the health gurus and conspiracy theorists, the life hackers peddling easy solutions to difficult problems, the IDW stalwarts who sneer at “PC culture” and “identity politics” as a means of reassuring cisgender white males that they are not and have never been the problem.
I have never listened to Rogan’s podcast, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of Peters’ characterization.
However, I agree completely with his description of our current era, and particularly of the prolific word-salad dilettantes who clutter up the media, online forums, and our public discourse in general. These are the people who show up in friends-of-friends’ Facebook discussions spewing bile and obnoxiousness, and then try to laugh it off with “I’m just putting the info out there”-style defenses and then disappear when more sensible people pile on.