Living in a Post-Truth World

The Benefits of Arguing | Psychology Today

We live in a post-truth society… well, maybe… it depends upon your perspective, I guess.

Originally, there was truth society, whose main characteristic was there existed an arbiter whose opinion was final. In ancient Rome, it was the emperor. Later, it was the pope; then, the king or queen… except those three weeks that Queen Victoria had the flu and a notary public from Des Moine filled in … and, finally, the Encyclopedia Britannica. If you had a disagreement about facts, you were compelled to look it up, find it, slam the book down and announce, “THERE IT IS IN BLACK AND WHITE”. Your friend would have to admit defeat, congratulate you and then celebrate by never speaking to you again.

Then came the internet and that was it for books, newspapers and realistic sexual expectations. The internet was originally conceived to allow learning centers to exchange peer-reviewed data. This is so ironic that it induces blindness if you read it a dozen times… did you? Did you read it a dozen times and not go blind? Well, I call FAKE NEWS on you and welcome to the year 2021. Have you had a conversation like this one?

Friend: “Salamanders are insects”

Me: “No, salamanders are amphibians”

Friend: “And, who’s to say they can’t be both?”

Me: “Zoologists”

Friend: “I have a letter signed by a thousand oil industry scientists that says amphibians ARE insects”

And… so on, ad nauseum or “add nausea” as my friend assures me it is really used. Experts be damned, the world isn’t warming up, it is cooling. And, there’s an article on the internet written by a nice man who has a hefty grant from Exxon Oil. So, one article versus thousands… you have to give them equal weight or amphibians will STOP being insects.

I mean, there are benefits to a post-truth world. Everyone has the same IQ, because the answers to the test questions could be whatever you want. And, if we all have the same IQ, how can I feel superior to someone watching Jersey Housewives? If you miss a presidential debate, you don’t feel as if really missed anything. They’ve become mostly a contest of who looks most presidential and any old white guy can accomplish that. Don’t worry about disease… you have as many cures as you can dream up. Do the cures work? Who cares? Death is simply a matter of opinion.

And, because words don’t mean anything anymore, one language is just as good as another, making us all brothers and sisters. We may not understand each other and some might think it will lead to nothing good. You might think it will lead to cold table fusion and free food and maybe both opinions are true. You are completely entitled to your own opinions.

And, now you are entitled to your own facts…

28 thoughts on “Living in a Post-Truth World

  1. Hey, I got here first! Well, being so honored I can’t think of anything intelligent to say…except maybe to repeat something I heard…something like…”my ignorance is just as acceptable as your liberal intelligence…” Frankly, I don’t know when the word “liberal” became as terrible an insult as “mthrfker” but it did…and then i woke up in an Orwellian future that was now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was arguing with a guy at work one time and he suddenly blurted out, “You’re a li–”

      He couldn’t even finish the word. I said, “Go ahead and say it. I’m a liberal”

      Weird. The same guy was telling me that he had free speech and I said, “Okay, just say the word ‘marijuana’ here in the break room… just the word”

      People get really upset when you make a good point…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Personally, I don’t think this is a post-truth world – I think we just have the communication tools to debate whether we think the truth is fixed or is evolving as we learn more – about just about everything. Where we also differ is our opinions as to how we should respond to what is true at the time.

    We have learned an incredible amount about the climate – how, why and where it is changing. But I live in one of the coldest countries in the world and it contributes very little to what is causing climate change. A warmer climate will actually help my country grow more food and use less fuel for heating – so I don’t see climate change as an existential threat. I can understand why it is a greater concern to other parts of the world though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Global warming should be alarming to everyone because it doesn’t just warm up the weather. It melts permafrost, releases greenhouse gases and, if not stopped, will spiral out of control so that we won’t be coming back from it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You should send that to a media outlet, cos it’s spot on. Oh wait, you might be imprisioned in some countries who believe these so called truths. Some countries still have residents who think elections are rigged with no evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have you seen Samuel Jackson’s Death to 2020 on Netflix? It really pokes fun of all the stuff that happened that you just couldn’t make up. You see our leaders in their truest forms. And they poke fun at some of the insane things people said that surround our president. I pulled this one up as an example: “‘Okay, so the Democrats claim that [President Donald] Trump pressured Ukraine into digging up dirt on the Biden family and their only real “evidence” of that is the transcript of him doing it.’
    When questioned further, Susan scoffed: ‘What transcript? Check your tape I said no such thing. There’s no such place as Ukraine. I choose to believe there is not.'”
    And so there, of course, is the truth. If you chose not to believe something then it never happened or doesn’t exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder if this is true. I think we have always seen definitions of truth be challenged. Orwell wrote 1984 during a time when totalitarian regimes were pretty normal. The second half of the twentieth century was a unprecedented time for global democracy, but we’re watching those institutions be eroded. It’s important to remember that history is not a story of linear progress. We often loop back to ways of life. It’s kinda like that old adage – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Half a century ago, we were patting ourselves on the back for the small pox and polio vaccine; now, there are a huge number of people who don’t trust science.

      Like

      1. Great article on some of these ideas by a publication out of ASU. https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2019/07/19/distrust-of-science-is-as-american-as-apple-pie/events/the-takeaway/

        Food for thought:
        “The mistrust of science is not new, said UCLA sociologist Jeffrey Guhin. He said that the roots of today’s suspicion of science lie in the Second Great Awakening in the United States, during the early 19th century. The objections then were not to science; instead, some ministers became suspicious of so-called elite ministers who they felt were telling them how to read and interpret the Bible. So a backlash developed against the expertise not just of ministers, but also of lawyers, government officials, and medical doctors, Guhin said.

        Guhin added that the American idea of equality can have a dangerous effect when it’s used to insist on an intellectual equality. The notion of expertise being suspicious, Guhin said, is “a very old American sensibility.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We live such comfortable lives, we can believe anything and it really doesn’t effect the quality. You can both not believe in science and benefit greatly from it… with NO EMBARRASSMENT…

      Like

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