Saturday, March 24, 2018

TRUTH IS A FAST MOVING TARGET

     The American political situation is an easy example of truth that has gone off the rails. Politicians are not the only group to play fast and loose with the truth.  Politicians lie to each other and about each other. Political parties hire skillful organizations to manufacture lies and skillfully publicize them.

       I read terrible things about Donald Trump and I say to myself this should do him in. Nothing happens and he continues with his wacky ways.  So then I have to ask, "Is the information dished up about Trump the truth." We know that Trump admits that he makes things up as in his discussion with Prime Minister Trudeau when Trump admits to making up information on the spot.

      Some of our news organizations churn out endless fantasy. These organizations know that the general public can not be on the spot to witness what is reported. We depend on accurate reporting to form our opinions.

    This week there was a larger scarier incident when Cambridge Analytica was caught  red handed stealing info from 50 million Face Book users to manipulate truth. They found information to use and manufacture information to feed the public. Apparently it worked.

     With modern media, news travels in many cases instantly.  Truth moves rapidly. With 24 hour news channels someone is always on display peddling their lies. At the end of the day there's usually nobody to believe. News casters go chasing another story for the next day.

     Now it used to be that people would argue their point by using available information to support their position. They played by the rules. They used logic and information. They presented the information in using intelligent discourse. They could still promote their cause and let people decide what they would choose. We could go to several sources and compare the information. We could do our homework.

     Now we have nothing that we can rely on. We must do our own research. There are limited sources that give reasonable information.

    So some how we have to turn this ship around and impress on leaders and news organizations that truth is valuable for the good of the citizens and the health of the earth.

31 comments:

  1. That is the big question. Does truth matter? It does to me. Who's truth, yours or mine? If truth is based on facts, truth is truth. Who's facts? THE facts, ma'am. And so it goes round and round. I don't have the answer, but I sure have plenty of worries.

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    1. I think thee are many worries when people can lie and get way with it.

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  2. I love your posts. I can completely relate to so much of what you’re talking about. I’m so glad I found you. Greetings from Australia.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Hiawatha House.

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  3. Your blogpost made me think of these lines from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee:-
    Martha: Truth and illusion, George; you don't know the difference.
    George: No, but we must carry on as though we did.
    Martha: Amen.

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    1. I'm afraid many people do not know the difference as shown by their choices.

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  4. I hear you. I like to do research. I like to critically reflect on facts, or, at least, question people who repost lies. I like shows like CBC's Marketplace, and W5. What I like are shows like The Daily Show, that makes fun of ALL news shows.

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    1. You can think critically but many people wouldn't know critical thinking if it hit them between the eyes.

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    2. I love the Daily Show too. Trevor Noah is fabulous.

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  5. Most news outlets have been behaving shamelessly lately. I want to hear the news without biased commentary and false information. I do my own research to try and find out - to the best of my ability - what the truth is. It's not easy.

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    1. We are sucked into watching devious characters massage the truth for their own benefit. They do not know how to think of everybody.

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  6. I have news sources that I trust, such as the New York Times and Washington Post. If they find something they said is wrong, they admit it. I respect that. Good post, Red. :-)

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    1. You can make judgmental choices but many people wouldn't or couldn't go there. They get caught up in razzle dazzle and hype.

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  7. There's been more and more, with the growth of 24 hour news, of pundits yelling at each other as opposed to real news, and it becomes frustrating to the process.

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    1. They seem to think that they get better news if they bring the creeps directly to you rather than report about the creeps.

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  8. The avalanche of fake "facts" makes it feel like civilization is spinning out of control! As you said, people have to carefully consider what they hear and who is saying it. I found a website recently that looks useful:
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/
    It is a list of over 2200 media sources and their particular biases. Or you can check on Wikipedia to see who owns a particular news source and what their political leanings are, and interpret their published information through that lens.

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    1. Spinning out of control is a good metaphor to use for our loss of truth.

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  9. It's hard to who or what to believe these days.

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    1. We are going to have to work harder so that the liars can't get away with stuff.

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  10. There are organizations such as PBS and NPR that always tell the truth or at least admit when they are not sure!!

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    1. Yes, thee are still some good sources.

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  11. Truth does matter but it's up to us to find it. We can't rely on the media these days, never know what to believe. It's a crazy world today.

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    1. Finding reliable info and doing research is a challenge.

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  12. Yes it is a war of words. The truth has been spun by putting out anything that slanders and does damage to help sway the cause keeping people from hearing the truth. Our third party in our political arena are very dangerous people who really have no soul.

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    1. You describe the situation exactly.

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  13. Ach I don't watch much news...I figure most of it is lies anyways. Trump is the president and deserves some respect....and he gets very little...sad that some want to hate him so much. :(

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  14. It is often hard to decipher what is truth and what is not, so many people are so good at making their lies sound credible. Of course there are those lies which stand out like a sore thumb and I refuse to respect the people who tell those lies because not only are they playing fast & loose with truth but they disrespect me enough to think I will swallow any old load of garbage. At least the people who try to make their lies credible give me some credit for intelligence.

    Truth is important. Always.

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  15. It IS a scary situation! I think if we make sure we use reliable sources of information and compare information from several different sources, we can still hope to get some version of the truth. For example, I read the NYT and the Guardian every day, and then just to compare I look at the Fox News website. (I don't really believe it, though, admittedly!) It is crazy how flexible everything has become.

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  16. I used to teach critical thinking and identifying biased sources back in the day. The examples of the later in the main avenues, newspapers, TV networks, magazines etc. were quit limited. This was also before much in the way of "social media". Now the sources have proliferated beyond imagination. The task today would be much much harder...

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  17. Hi Red, This is a most interesting post and I think you have done a fine job of describing the issues we face when it comes to truth in the media. Some of the comments are right on too, the way I see things. I like what DJan said and I also rely on the New York Times and Washington Post. And she is right to point out that they greater credibility because they openly admit mistakes they make. I am curious about Far Side of Fifty when she says Trump deserves respect. I agree because he is the leader of the Executive Branch of our Government. The problem is that he is almost always saying one thing and then saying the opposite a few hours or a couple of days later. He can’t be trusted so how can I have respect for the man? I guess the bottom line for me is continued trust in the democratic system … If enough of us get fed up with the legislators we can replace them at the ballot box.

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  18. Great post Red! Yep, these are some scary times. I'm not sure there are any completely honest news sources these days. I guess it's all a matter of degree now. As far as Trump goes, I don't think we have to rely on any news source to get the cut of that man. Just going by what I personally see him do, and hear him say is more than enough.

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