Monday, February 20, 2017

When Facts Become Unnecessary

From The Prisoner
There was a time, historians call it the Age of Reason, when truth was an objective thing. If you were looking for the truth of a matter you would seek out things called facts and subject them to rigorous review. Prove the facts and you have glimpsed the truth.

Those days are gone. Today, we live in a time when the truth is whatever you believe at the moment. Facts are pesky details that only confuse. If you believe in something strongly enough then facts become useless.

Take, for example, the terrorist attack on Sweden last Friday night. In the past, a president seeking to know if such a thing had happened would have called his National Security Advisor (or, if he didn't have one, his Swedish masseuse) and ask about it.

Today, all you need is to believe that terrorist attacks are daily occurrences and you can be certain there was a terrorist attack in Sweden Friday night. There is no need to waste time confirming what you already believe to be true.

On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that there were no Trump associate contacts with Russia even while acknowledging that Trump associate Michael Flynn had contacts with Russia to discuss sanctions.
To a mind stuck in the Age of Reason such contradictions would be seen as patently absurd. But we are past the limitations of reason. Because Reince believes both things to be true, they have become absolutely true and anyone who denies their truth is peddling "fake news."

We live in a brave new world where truth is fungible and facts meaningless.

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