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In , Marc Estrin, a novelist and far-left activist from Vermont, found an online version of a paper by Cass Sunstein, a professor at Harvard Law School and the most frequently cited legal scholar in the world. In it, Sunstein and his Harvard colleague Adrian Vermeule attempted to explain how conspiracy theories spread, especially online.

Nowhere in the final version of the paper did Sunstein and Vermeule state the obvious fact that a government ban on conspiracy theories would be unconstitutional and possibly dangerous. More prevalent, and more bewildering, are the ambiguous cases—a subtly altered photograph, an accurate but misleading statistic, a tendentious connection among disparate dots. The O.

But Greenwald was right that not all skepticism is paranoia. In one typical TV segment, in April of , he devoted several minutes to a close reading of the paper, which lists five possible ways that a government might respond to conspiracy theories, including banning them outright.

For much of and , Sunstein was such a frequent target on right-wing talk shows that some Tea Party-affiliated members of Congress started to invoke his name as a symbol of government overreach. So I put it out of my mind. Sunstein was never asked to resign. He served as the head of O. Whatever it takes to win, you do. After the talk, we sat in a hotel restaurant and ordered coffee.

Even if I could do that, I would feel like taking about five showers afterward. He grabbed three packets of Splenda, tore them all open at once, and stirred them into his coffee before tasting it.

A draft of the paper was posted online in Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Webcasters promise transparency and objectivity, but not all views deserve equal time.

By Andrew Marant z. Andrew Marantz , a staff writer, has contributed to The New Yorker since The New Yorker Recommends What our staff is reading, watching, and listening to each week. Read More. On Televisio n.


String Theories: We're Living In Cass Sunstein's World, Get Used To It

Remember me. Forgot your password? Subscribe today to gain access to every Research Intelligencer article we publish as well as the exclusive daily newsletter, full access to The MediaPost Cases , first-look research and daily insights from Joe Mandese, Editor in Chief. How did America become a nation of conspiracy theorists?


How a Liberal Scholar of Conspiracy Theories Became the Subject of a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory

Cass Robert Sunstein [1] FBA born September 21, is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law , administrative law , environmental law , and law and behavioral economics , and the New York Times best-selling author of The World According to Star Wars and Nudge As a professor at the University of Chicago Law School for 27 years, he wrote influential works on, among other topics, regulatory and constitutional law. Studies of legal publications found Sunstein to be the most frequently cited American legal scholar by a wide margin. He has said that as a teenager, he was briefly infatuated with the works of Ayn Rand, though her "contempt[] toward most of humanity" soon turned him away. In , he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College , where he was a member of the varsity squash team and the Harvard Lampoon. In , Sunstein received a J.


Cass Sunstein


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