Skip to main content

Post-Truth - I Feel Like Alice in Wonderland


Nothing is as it seems. What I know to be real, believe to be true built on my reliance on facts is apparently passe. It's official: Truth is dead. 

The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary has made it official. Post-truth now has an explanation: "objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." 


Of course, that definition is post-truth, so it may or may not be true. The Oxford Dictionary may be a propaganda tool written by the liberal media, the alt-right, conservative pundits, or some unknown Russian hacker. 

And, therein lies the problem that has me scratching my head. If "truth" or "reality" are no longer what they have always been, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? How does one construct a rational response to events when rationality is under attack?

Is Mars really populated by little green men (and women)? If enough people on the Internet claim it to be so, then does that makes it so? Did we go to the moon, or just stage a launch in a studio? Is there a child sex ring being run from the basement of a pizza restaurant by a former presidential candidate? Is the government planning on installing microchips in our arm the next time we get a flu shot? 

These examples are absurd, at least to me, but believed at some point in our history. They gained traction with our fellow citizens. No matter how bizarre or disconnected from how we think the world and its citizens operate, any statement has the potential to be accepted in a post-truth world.

So, how do you determine the difference between what is downright silly or ludicrous, and that what is true, meaning facts and reality support the premise? At the risk of being seen as part of a plot to deceive, I offer the following suggestions:

1). If something seems too far-fetched to be true, then do your research rather than accept it as presented. Most of us agree that if something is too good to be true, like an Hawaiian vacation for $99, then it probably is a scam. Use that same discernment with news or "facts" that raise questions. Something important can be found in multiple sources, not just one that is re-tweeted or shared over and over.

2) Realize that truth or facts are not dependent on what you believe. They are independent of emotions and beliefs. An inconvenient truth is still true. 

3) If someone claims to have the answer to a complex or difficult question that has bedeviled humans for a long time, question that solution. Complex problems do not have simple answers, especially those that can be summed up in a 140 character tweet.

4) Does the story attack a large non-specific foe, like Big Government, or Republicans, or The Media? Such broad-brush revelations are very rarely based on fact, but much more likely emotion or a particular agenda.

5) Accept that uncomfortable "truths" may require you to change your world view or opinions about something. To ignore or deny simply because you may have to change is done at your own peril.

6) "Truth" does not change over time: the world was flat for thousands of years until the truth of its roundness became obvious. The world was always round; people just didn't have the tools or mindset to accept it. What changes is our awareness and understanding of what is true, not the truths behind it.


With all that being said, I would add a suggestion: question everything. Just like the round world example, question what you believe at every turn. The "truth" as you know it may be wrong, or not fully understood. Be ready to adjust to new, credible, information. It is not easy, it goes against human nature. But that is the only way we evolve as a species: to separate fiction from truth, rejecting the former while embracing the latter.


If you'd like to read an interesting article, check out this link from NPR: 

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/11/505154631/a-finders-guide-to-facts



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WHY ARE ADSENSE AD IMPRESSIONS NOT SHOWING UP?

WHY ARE ADSENSE AD IMPRESSIONS NOT SHOWING UP?This year, we've seen an increase in the number of AdSense forum discussions, questioning why AdSense ad impressions are not showing on certain sites or pages. Two main reasons have been identified: AdSet file problems with AdSense AND recent changes made by Google to prevent ads from appearing on non-indexed Google pages (Google AdSense Brand Safety Update) . Save
Below, I will explain the origin of these two problems and offer you comprehensive solutions to solve them. I will explain how to make AdSense ads appear again on pages affected by these two potential issues . Finally, I'll give you some tips to avoid these issues in the future, to prevent any interruption of your AdSense ad impressions. UNDERSTAND WHY ADSENSE ADS ARE NOT SHOWING ON YOUR SITE OR WEB PAGEAs I said above, the problem of displaying AdSense ads on certain blogs and sites is related to two main problems. Problems encountered with the Ads.txt file (an element on w…