The Post-Truth World

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Welcome to the post-truth world! – David Osorio

We live in a world where truth has become secondary to feelings, and to people deciding what is considered fact versus fiction. Say whatever you will about any controversial topic, the environment, politics, economics, or social issues. Then just construct a simple tweet, maybe a short thread on Twitter, explaining why you believe what you believe. Sit back, and wait for the reaction. You may find allies, but the normative, at least on Twitter, is that you won’t. Those that may agree with you will be too afraid to agree simply because they are afraid of being cancelled.

This is our world though and to be afraid to state what you believe to be true, is an unconscionable affect of, well, social media and those that attempt to own the conversation and not allow any dissenting opinions or facts. We often here, That’s your truth, not mine. Has anyone stopped and considered what that means? How ridiculous, that sounds just on it’s surface? Do people today really believe that there is more than one truth on any controversial topic? Does the idea that a consensus means something is true, true?

The quote from David above comes from a tweet exchange we had earlier. It’s based on this mea culpa from Michael Shermer concerning an author that they had published in Skeptic Magazine and Skeptic Online whose credentials were contrived. In other words, false. That brought to mind another hoax, and yes, you’ve guessed it: The Grievance Studies hoax as perpetrated by three people I have a lot of repsect for: Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay, and Peter Boghossian. Remember that? They submitted some twenty “academic” papers to various academic publications. Seven were actually published. One of those took a chapter from Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf  and substituted for Jews. Yep, instantly published without anyone on the staff at the journal bothering to vet either the authors, or the actual text of the article. Proof of David’s statement above.

Truth is what we want it to be, not what it actually is and that’s troubling not only for academics, but for journalism in the broader view. All we desire to hear is what we want to hear. My friend, Lee Jussim, a psychologist, recently tweeted a blog post he authored in Psychology Today on confirmation bias and how to recognize it. I encourage my readers to click this link. In my opinion, we all exhibit this to a degree. Guilty. But the difference for me is that I’m willing to hear and consider what other people have to say. Are you? Wait! Just because someone has a different opinion with facts I’ve never read or heard, should I automatically believe? Well, no. Are there others that agree? Do they have an agenda? We have to look , discern for ourselves, what may be true or not.

We have an obligation, if only to ourselves, to vet information that we receive from any outlet. The press today has the lowest approval ratings of anytime in my life. Academia has similar polling numbers because they have, in the most part, given in to the madness we are all seeing today. What’s the endgame? Don’t believe what you hear or read. That’s sad isn’t it? When Universities, who do the greater of scientific and social science research can’t be believed, and that we have to access sources outside the government and those we pay to deliver us unbiased information, well, we’re doomed in my opinion.

And so we now live in a world where truth is not something we can depend on, but what others decide for us it should be at any moment in time. That’s right, truth today, is not truth tomorrow or next week. It’s a noun constantly being redefined based on who is using it for their own purpose. Who’s to blame? A part belongs to our education system where academics come to a conclusion, then test the same to prove that which they already believe. The media is next because these people will them propagate that same nonsense as being science. When it’s not science, it’s politics or social policy that these same media mavens, these guardians of the truth, will decide it’s i our own best interest to accept whatever it is they decide, this week, we need to know.

Ultimately, we as individuals are to blame. We’ve lost the ability to digest information and critically analyze what we read or hear because of our inherent, or learned biases. We are unable to even have a conversation on certain topics simply because, if we happen to disbelieve the mainstream view, we will somehow be culturally cancelled. We can and should do better. We should challenge, intellectually, what we’re told we believe. What we’re told is the consensus opinion. A consensus of who? Prove your position or sit down and shut up. Please stop telling me “there’s a study” when a single study doesn’t prove anything. When we stop redefining truth to fit our agenda, whatever that may be, we may be on the road to a world where the word will actually mean something.

3 thoughts on “The Post-Truth World

  1. As Joe Biden told his supporters, “We believe in truth over facts.” As confused as he can be at times, he hit this one right on target. Intelligent people know that facts are still facts, but “truth” has become something else entirely. Truth has become subjective opinion and consensus has become just a group that agrees with that opinion and for what ever reason is chosen.

    Grandparents used to tell kids, “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” With the available technology right now, one cannot believe anything that is seen or heard or read via any device. We are growing technological ignorance in those, which is most of us, who rely upon the experience of others as posted via internet devices. And…with journalistic suicide done by adherence to political agenda, we cannot depend upon our Fourth Estate to inform us of facts.

    I have no idea how individuals can determine facts. I know some sources that I trust, who will admit mistakes they make and seek to find answers though research. One I trust repeatedly tells us to not take his word on it, but to do our own homework.

    Funny thing that those, who brought us to this are the ones who demanded that we always “question authority.” When they became the “authority” they demanded that we comply with their version of truth.

    It is not going to get better. So, we can go along and ignore the controversies, mind our own business, disengage from much public discourse, tend our families, rear our children to make sure they know most of the very important facts, such as, Communism is evil, water is wet, fire will burn. That reminds me of “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” by Rudyard Kipling.

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  2. The Gods of the Copybook Headings
    by Rudyard Kipling

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its ice-field, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

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  3. This is unfortunately true and it isn’t just politics where it happens. There’s a religious guy who responds all the time on my YouTube channel who extols the virtue of “your truth”. Not “the truth”, “your truth”. You have your own reality that you control and anything that you don’t personally like, it isn’t real. And this guy is a dyed-in-the-wool Christian. This is the world we live in today. People so terrified of reality that they reject it as a concept. Reality doesn’t exist anymore. You can pick and choose what is real and what is not based on your feelings.

    These people are pathetic.

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