We Don’t Know What to Believe Anymore

Fascinating undercurrent swirling around yesterday’s post about Bill Nye and I. (I know that’s grammatically suspect, but I’m a sucker for the rhyme.)

We appear to be coming to terms – poorly – with the fact that we simply don’t know what to believe anymore. In the era of “fake news,” every claim must now be viewed with deep suspicion. In the era of google, anyone can “research” anybody. In the era of Facebook, anyone can broadcast from their own private network. But of course, in an era where we can’t trust the news, why in the world would we trust anything we read on line?

Thus, we’re stuck in a tautology of doubt. Our search for truth has been replaced by a quest for contradiction. And when we find the inconsistency, as we always will, the baby goes out with the bathwater.

Truth is, we don’t know what to do with an advocate for science, who isn’t really a scientist. Or an advocate for labor, who isn’t a skilled tradesman. We simply can’t handle the cognitive dissonance. Should we feel deceived? Betrayed? It seems we’re no longer merely skeptical; we’re skeptical of skepticism – and doubly skeptical of those who aren’t.

Reminded me of a short story I wrote last year, about the power of a name, and the dangers of changing it. Or in this case, the danger of not changing it. Give it a listen, if you’re so inclined, and thanks for keeping the conversation lively!


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