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welcome to the post-truth era


stimmung79
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i was reading an interesting article from Paul McGeogh in TheAge:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/what-the-internet-did-for-journalism-donald-trump-is-doing-for-political-reality-20161206-gt4vbk.html

and there were some interesting comments about the new(?) relativity of truth:

Quote

Scottie Nell Hughes blithely declared of the Trump fantasies: "One thing that's been interesting to watch this entire campaign season, is that people say facts are facts, [but] they're not really facts.

"Everybody has a way, it's kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass half-full of water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There's no such thing, unfortunately, any more, as facts."

Lest that be seen as Hughes' personal flight of fancy, on-again, off-again Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, also speaking last week, castigated the media for taking Trump at his word – and even bothering to report some of what he actually says. "You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally," he said. "The American people didn't. They understood it. They understood that sometimes – when you have a conversation with people – you're going to say things, and sometimes you don't have all the facts to back it up."

so apparently truth is a dog's breakfast...we can't even be expected to listen to what political leaders say anymore

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I see what PM is saying, but (ironically!) I'm actually skeptical of the idea of a "post-truth era" because, mutatis mutandis, things have always been this way.

That is, I don't know precisely what PM means by "post-fact or post-truth era," but to follow the parable of the blind men and the elephant, well, the poor elephant has been dismembered into tusk, tail, trunk, and leg for as long as anyone can remember.  The crucial difference is that our information technologies are far more pervasive at this point in human history, and the modern general population is less equipped than ever to critically assess the information which is surrounding them on all sides.

But there will always be a rem(a)inder - the reason why I'm skeptical of "post-"s is that most people simply think of them as the sublation and supercession of a period which is now to be considered bygone.  There are never clean transitions in history, which is why we should always remember facts, lest we come to believe that the murder of 6 million Jews is really just a meme or a "discursive argument."

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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On 2016-12-09 at 7:08 AM, Gord Barentsen said:

But there will always be a rem(a)inder - the reason why I'm skeptical of "post-"s is that most people simply think of them as the sublation and supercession of a period which is now to be considered bygone.  

Can you please explain what you mean by "sublation"?

Edited by stimmung79
Clarifying question
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Well in order to have a "post-truth" one must first have a "truth."  Did we ever have a "truth"?  I wonder if this is one way of describing a shift from what was once a (supposedly) self-evident realist correlationism, that is, a view where a privileged discourse was simply understood to faithfully mirror "the way things are" to be "how it is" at the expense of other, less privileged discourses.

But I also think that whenever anyone tried to establish a "post," one is making sweeping generalizations.  Who is one asking about this "post"?  There are political activists who dedicate their lives to preserving the truth that comes under fire by this "post" but they are not the ones who get media attention.

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We need to teach children how to think rather than what to think. – Margaret Mead

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  • 1 month later...

Actually, the more I listen to Donald Trump, I am less inclined to think of him as anything other than the worst kind of Idealist solipsist...facts aren't facts if he doesn't approve them and I saw Shawn Spicer go so far as to say that we can just "disagree with those facts" ....

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We need to teach children how to think rather than what to think. – Margaret Mead

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On 12/14/2016 at 9:59 AM, NotWithoutMyOntic said:

Well in order to have a "post-truth" one must first have a "truth."  Did we ever have a "truth"?

I wonder whether prefixing things with "post" just isn't a historical-chic way of trying to convince others that our thinking is progressing into new areas of novelity when maybe it isn't.

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