You didn’t come online to read this and I’m certain there’s something else happening right now that you need to put your attention towards on the internet. There’s probably a survey or some new comic book news you have to check out or some porn that’s gotta be looked at. I know there’s a hell of a lot of information being strewn in your direction. Some of it is going to take the form of entertainment, some in the form of advise, and some in the form of opinion. There’s something missing from this group though, and that’s truth.
With the creation of do it yourself media that has been provided by Internet 2.0, we’ve lost our objectivity. It was predicted that print media would lose out the most, and it did lose a lot, but likely not the most out of anything. I would argue that our objectivity has lost the most. Of course Google plays a part in nailing this coffin shut where it gives you search results based on popularity and a number of other factors not including objectivity, but blaming Google for the death of truth is like blaming the internet for social isolation. There’s a lot more at play than the immediate suspects which deserve their own attention.
I love Twitter. I follow a lot of people on Twitter and get most of my news from Twitter, much in the same way our buddy Spider-Jerusalem got his news from “feeds” in the seminal “Transmetropolitan” by Warren Ellis. Like Spider, I have a preference where I get my information from. It’s from those who have the same interests and world views as I do. It’s from people who I believe to be credible based on their alignment with what I determine to be truth. If I was objective about it I should scrutinize each article on the internet for biases and logical fallacies. Whose got time for that?
Is all information on the internet fabricated? An article in The Atlantic would argue so, and the fact that we require no references for our opinions and information, or if we do it can be substantiated almost anywhere, truth becomes a very personal thing. It’s going to be different for every individual, and localized based on interest.
“If it doesn’t harm anybody, then it’s okay by me.”
Sure, on the surface that would appear to be an approach that’s acceptable, but then where is the line where something is damaging or not? Like Simon Sinek, we need to explore the “why” or the premise behind the information. If we don’t, then we are prone to accepting dangerous ideas as truth such as “all Muslims are terrorists” or “the Holocaust is a fabricated conspiracy created by the Elders of Zion”.
As a result of this endangered nature of the truth, what we get is a set of beliefs. We end up making statements of belief rather than affirmation, partially because we fear we may not be able to substantiate what we are claiming or because we can, but are aware of this anomaly of flux within information trustworthiness. We end up saying things like I don’t believe in recycling, I don’t believe in global warming, or I don’t believe in Evolution, even though these statements are substantiated to be truthful by academia and the evidence is sound. They need not be stated as beliefs any more than I need to state that “I believe I am hungry because my stomach is growling.” The fact of the matter is that you are hungry and you need to eat. There is no belief in this and it’s unnecessary to state it as such.