Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Post-Fact Society

We have unlimited facts at our disposal. Politifact has been on the scene for years. AP Fact Check is doing their thing. Facts are wonderful. The problem is that PEOPLE HATE FACTS. The era of Big Data is upon us with fancy data scientists heaping facts onto us. I still believe in facts. I believe the facts are our future. The Facts of Life was an underrated sitcom. I like facts, and you, my dear readers, might like facts. But facts are more optional than ever and I think this is problem number 4,080 with Trumpism--accuracy is way out the window. Post-fact society rule number 4,080: Donald J. Trump is shady.

My fear and loathing for Trumpism is not an endorsement for Hillary Clinton, by the way. I do not trust the Clintons to tell the truth on a regular basis, either. I just think rampant disregard of facts would thrive more so during a Trump presidency than a Clinton presidency. That said, Trump is not going to win.

But this is not entirely about politics.

This is also about the "Whose side are you on?" mentality, as if there are only two sides from which to choose or that you have to always and immediately pick a side. Find your side, stay on your side, watch the media outlets that electrify your side. It's enough to make me go to KFC and pick a side. Mashed potatoes, probably.

Seriously, though, people choose the set of facts or half-truths that bolster their opinion and then it's go time. I do not possess all of the facts. I have many moments of ignorance. I often get it wrong. But I do the best I can with facts that I gather carefully. Someone asks me what I think about a current event and before I utter four words they cut me off with their opinion.

Like Colbert said, truthiness. This has been the way for a while and it's getting worse.

Frustrated, I am.

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