True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo
The truth can be irrelevant. Facts can be used to prove just about anything. And in this day and age, we have some very skilled liars that can spread their “true enough” message out to the masses.
How did we get to this place and how can we learn to live in a post-fact society?
Farhad Manjoo explores this topic in detail by looking at news, politics, and popular media. He writes . . .
When we strung up the planet in fiber-optic cable, when we dissolved the mainstream media into prickly niches, and when each of began to create and transmit our own pictures and sounds, we eased the path through which propaganda infects the culture.
He talks about four very specific processes.
Selective Exposure – we indulge information that pleases us and cocoon ourselves among others who think as we do
Selective Perception – we interpret documentary proof according to our long-held beliefs
Peripheral Processing – which produces a swarm of phony experts
Hostile Media Phenomenon – pushes the news away from objectivity
These processes distort the truth and can present an image that seems true. This “true enough” statement can then snowball until it becomes the new truth. And at this point, the real facts don’t even seem to matter.
Manjoo has crafted a work that needs further exploration. At the very least, it should remind us to question everything so we can get to the real truth.
My List of 2016 Reads – a detailed personal reading log (for all to see)