PUSHING THE EDGE: What’s the truth about the ‘post truth’ era

Consider this fictional encounter between a mother and her teenage son.

Mom: “Hey Billy. I just received a call from your English teacher. She says you have not been doing your homework in preparation for class.”

Billy: “Don’t listen to her. That’s ‘fake news’. Who are you going to believe that loser teacher or your loving son?”

Who should Mom believe?

Is “fake news” really fake?

Recently we have added new words to our lexicon such as “fake news” and “alternative facts”. The proliferation of social media such as Twitter and Facebook allows erroneous claims to spread really fast. These erroneous claims can easily be interpreted as “truth” when the information confirms one’s preexisting beliefs. This phenomenon is called “confirmation bias”. Given that bias, fake news instigators thrive on stoking their followers’ confirmatory bias.

Confirmation Bias

In today’s highly politically charged environment, there are many “camps of opinion” that hold their beliefs to be right and others, with different beliefs, to be wrong. The “camps” are preoccupied with building arguments using selective “facts” to support their assertion of “truth” and that “prove” the other wrong. When people with opposing views interpret information in a biased way, their views can move even further apart. Many of us are so attached to our beliefs that those beliefs can survive logical challenges.

Read more here: http://norwell.wickedlocal.com/news/20170720/pushing-edge-whats-truth-about-post-truth-era

Featured photo credit: http://ow.ly/j0I430dOEtd

Do you agree: Can beliefs be so strong that they can survive logical challenges?

OPINION: Post-Truth and Disability Rights

“I’m not comfortable with the term “post-truth” and I don’t use it. I see it as a Stalinist phrase, the answer to the old tyrant’s rhetorical question: “If Stalin was such a bad guy, why do all these people have to resort to attributing to him almost entirely quotes he didn’t make, or manipulate his actual quotes just enough to make them seem evil?”

Post-truth is “good Stalin” and I believe no one should employ the term. But it is here like candy and coconuts which is to say it’s as much a fact as Koba himself. I’ve always liked this observation by Christopher Hitchens: “Stalinism was, among other things, a triumph of the torturing of language. And, unlike Nazism or fascism or nuclear warfare, it secured at least the respect, and sometimes the admiration, of liberal intellectuals.”

One may insert post-truth right there.

Nevertheless, and without irony, or at least profligate irony, I’ve been thinking about disability and post-truth, largely because tough minded disabled protestors have been bleeding, have been dragged from their wheelchairs, earning the respect of millions while defending the principle of health care as a human right. Is it possible that disability is to post-truth as iodine is to goiter.” – Stephen Kuusisto, Contributor

Read More at HuffPost

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What do you think of this opinion?