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Archive for January, 2020

Fake News

Fake news predates Gutenberg and the traditional masters of the craft – press barons. It’s easily accessible, competitive information that’s new. After town criers, national and local media picked up the mantle and told us what to think, we thought it, all was in order. There were no international interlopers presenting opposing views. Scientific studies to settle differences in personal choices or statistical analysis on completely subjective matters weren’t available to drive the decision process. The authority of the press was proof enough; critics handed down their decisions, international advertisers sat on the bench. Those too busy to follow the press religiously were left to discover and define the world through their own observations and thoughts. Today those independent thinker and autodidacts would be berated as uneducated. In the ongoing tradition of chapter and verse learning that seems about right.

In the west, thinking and decisions are to be left to properly accredited professionals who have met strict, time-tested standards developed in cathedral schools in the middle ages. Globally, it turns out there are no standards for acceptable standards. Anyone tucked away in the privacy of their home, well-protected from the vagaries of reality can now turn to the information highway for the most appealing and highly-marketed truths. We’ve come a long way since Plato’s cave – it’s now completely electronic.

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