Truth Post Truth

Truth has become an elusive commodity - we are living in the era of post truth. To be completely truthful, for all of human existence facts have always teetered on the edge of extinction in the world of power and politics. There may have been more public integrity and honesty in the past but recent politicians and the advent of open, unmediated social media have opened the floodgates of fake news with truth difficult to discern among the steaming piles of lies and deception.

Many of us have come to expect that news is free but everything has a price. Free news manipulates emotion, fuels outrage and allows our opinions to be manipulated by others seeking power, influence and ultimately wealth. Easily manipulated images are combined with simple but effective phrases to ignite emotions of fear and anger. We flock like sheep to news sources that support our opinions. Our worldview is rarely influenced by thoughtful analysis but more often based on how we were raised, positive and negative life experiences, and the opinions of those in immediate community.

Few of us read widely or deeply but we need to read more now than ever. We need to financially support news sources that truly investigate, analyze and report all sides of an issue. With things we truly care about, we may need to look for the truth on our own - peer reviewed journal articles if they are available. If they are not available, we have to learn to understand that what we are seeing, reading or hearing is just opinion - interesting but not factual.

The truth will always be elusive but we need to do the hard work of looking for it.

 

1 comment

  • Krys

    Krys St. Marys

    So true ;-) Really sad though. Having trained as a librarian, I assume everyone checks their sources, lol, but that is so far from reality. I spend too much time checking the really outrageous (i.e., the stories I don't agree with) but I find it is often a choice between mainstream media or government or major medical organizations, and alternative publications. For all of those one needs a healthy dose of scepticism to spot the potential manipulation of facts to suit their bias. Even Snopes has had to compromise their principles - research costs money and/or time. Sometimes we are lucky enough that the articles quote the original study, but then one study doesn't make a case. ​ Financial support of the Guardian, the NYT and the Globe and Mail is a target but procrastination is my middle name. Instead I depend on Google to bring me the selection of materials that will allow me to approach truth if not actually seize it. And we all know that Google feeds us what we want so that's a flawed strategy. ​ ​ Of course there is an argument that there is no truth; that it all depends on how we choose to interpret or rationalize the facts.

    So true ;-) Really sad though. Having trained as a librarian, I assume everyone checks their sources, lol, but that is so far from reality. I spend too much time checking the really outrageous (i.e., the stories I don't agree with) but I find it is often a choice between mainstream media or government or major medical organizations, and alternative publications. For all of those one needs a healthy dose of scepticism to spot the potential manipulation of facts to suit their bias. Even Snopes has had to compromise their principles - research costs money and/or time. Sometimes we are lucky enough that the articles quote the original study, but then one study doesn't make a case.

    Financial support of the Guardian, the NYT and the Globe and Mail is a target but procrastination is my middle name. Instead I depend on Google to bring me the selection of materials that will allow me to approach truth if not actually seize it. And we all know that Google feeds us what we want so that's a flawed strategy. ​

    Of course there is an argument that there is no truth; that it all depends on how we choose to interpret or rationalize the facts.

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