Discerning Truth And Error In The New Media Age

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  1. That’s a great point. One thing that makes it an especially tricky problem is that Ted Talks contributors are also subject to the same problem (as I’ve witnessed on many occasions). What a conundrum of information and disinformation to sift through!

  2. Anyone (like Sharyl Attkisson!) who would question WikiPh.D is soooooo obviously a crank, and a nut.

    More seriously, there’s most likely not a “sleep crisis” in this land; but there IS a multi-front trustworthiness crisis, of which Sharyl’s presentation exposes but a single (though broad) battleground. Not even CBS News (from which Attkisson resigned a year ago) or any of the rest of the alphabet soup presenters in any media is inherently trustworthy. Because we are limited creatures, we need to trust others to give us the truth; and we need to be trusted to share it. But lying is now endemic to what was once a morally informed culture–ours isn’t any more.

    As puppetmasters from thousands of miles away strive to control small details of individual lives, to manipulate them into service of alien interests, the ordinary man is in a death struggle to know what is really going on around him; to have a modicum of genuine control in his local environment, so he may be assured of his own footsteps, particularly as he may be the guide for others in his trust.

    With the loss of freedom has come the loss of truth; or perhaps it is the other way around. Either way, both realities take new strength from the other. As you (RSC) take important time to highlight: the war against Nature is a war against things-as-they-are, against truth, against fixities of our circumstances the changes of which–even if they were changeable–most likely entails death. Hecatombs, in fact.

    Wisdom says: “All those who hate me, love death.” Prv.8:36. Some things can, may, or should change. Things that have been assigned a false-nature, for example, like skin pigment based social status. But will-to-power efforts aimed at falsifying the fabric of reality are inherently totalitarian, and violations of the 3rd and 9th Commandments (and eventually the 1st, and the 6th, and…).

    Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

  3. Forgive my rambling….

    We face all sorts of hurdles in our search for truth. First, of course, are the noetic effects of sin. Here are a few examples which I’ve encountered during just this week:

    How bad use of statistics produces bad conclusions. E.g., how researchers can data mine to find results that are flukes but present them as having p < .05.
    The Green Jellybean cartoon, http://xkcd.com/882/

    CSPAN Q&A interview of Dr.Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, who talked about (among other things) the astroturfing by the pharmaceutical industry. http://www.c-span.org/video/?324510-1/qa-dr-adriane-fughberman

    Interview on Canadian CBC Radio about Scientology, where the "defector" says that Scientology's strategy was "always attack, never defend".

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