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The truth is almost dead in a modern world

In general people say that they value the truth. However, when a would-be truth is unpalatable or does not fit with their individual values or knowledge-base, it is not allowed. I’m speaking in general of course, so unable to cater for obvious exceptions.

The word ‘truth’ has become closer to what individuals and large groups want to believe, instead of a reality to be embraced outside of raw beliefs.

This exploration does not include scientific truths such as the speed of light etc. It may be of interest to some, to keep in mind that some still believe that the earth is flat – and unrelated, is that a man was almost killed for asserting that the earth was not the centre of the universe (a few hundred years ago).

The phenomenon of post-truth (a very large concept) is about how people come to ‘truths’. Lies and fake news repeated often enough, tend to become what people hold as truths. It is not uncommon that an authoritative figure starts the ball rolling. Once the ‘untruth’ is repeated by people who think ‘it sounds good’, then eventually it becomes accepted. The effect of this is that naysayers tend to be labelled away, or actually shut down.

Post-truths in a modern social media era survive and propagate mainly because:

  1. They are highly unrewarding for naysayers to make challenges due to limits of effort, time and ability to withstand social media discomforts (i.e. abuse that goes below the radar of many moderated forums).

  2. ‘Topic’ and post-truth silos, attract droves of people who ‘believe in a thing or issue’ and naturally do not attract as many who do not.

  3. The effect of the above is that silos tend to grow and develop force – among the unknowing, not being exposed to realities beyond their belief systems.

Part of the problem for the truth is information overload. These days there is so much to read or take in from podcasts, video news feeds etc – that people just do not have sufficient hours in a day to get a full picture, much less to think more deeply about or explore what is said. Hence what sounds good or appealing prevails due to a need for economy about personal time. Very few people in my estimation, have the time and will power to fact check the most important things they accept. Add to the equation that search engines and those that use cookies will feed you more of what you value or think is real.

In effect what prevails are values underpinned by attitudes (or vice versa). So, the truth may not even be what people believe – but rather what people ‘feel’ is correct. The differentiation is important. Truth is a cognitive concept, primarily. Whereas attitudes are often below the level of cognition and often orchestrate what one might eventually come to believe.

The truth can never really be killed. Why? Because reality survives regardless of what we ‘feel’ or believe. History has shown repeatedly that the truth sometimes behaves like a vicious immortal monster. When it bites eventually, there is much pain caused. Then follows large paradigm shifts. All that was fake tends to fade away in a deafening silence.

Disclaimer & Guidance

The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identified person. On occasions individuals are quoted anonymously. That does not mean that they have been identified to the world. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to – any such perceived identification does not mean ‘identified to the world’. ‘Stupid‘ is an impish figment of my imagination who occasionally is allowed to pop up – and does not represent any known individual, individuals or groups. The treatment of  ‘Stupid‘ is not representative of the way people are treated in real life. Adverse inferences made are dismissed in advance.  

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