The Oxford English Dictionary has named its word of the year for 2016 :  "post-truth".

The OED has over 600,000 words in it and has been around for over a 1000 years. It is an enormous book of course. Almost too big to lift, but now like most things can be found online :

http://www.oed.com/

In my stranger days, even stranger than these times in some regards, I liked to "read" the OED. "Reading" meant flipping through the pages and reading anything. Not start to finish, but just for fun. I had a friend who owned a copy, so she and I would enjoy a glass of wine while trying to stump each other. Very nerdish, but it made for a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the college days. There was a point and reward system which made losing only slightly worse better different than winning.

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I've been doing a little thinking about "post-truth" without knowing that was what I was thinking about. I just thought I was thinking. See ?...the OED has value.

Today I saw an easy to understand definition of the term "post-truth":

Post-truth is defined as an adjective "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief"

In a nutshell "post-truth" is what passes these days as news, or campaign promises, or a plethora of other situations which we are surrounded by, which things get promised but not delivered.

Potholes in the streets in your burg? The duly appointed council person assigned to be Grand Poobah of Asphalt says they are going to fill them, but it will inconvenience the commuter rush turning it into one of those evasive driving classes the Secret Service uses, making you dodge orange cones and large people smoking and glaring at you while they throw up a "Stop" sign, then a "Slow" sign, then another "Stop" sign again real quick because the guy driving the steam roller can't read, but by golly the streets are going to be better and that's what we all want, isn't it?

The Grand Poobah of Asphalt made lots of people feel better because he promised it would be better.

The truth doesn't matter at that point.

Then, 3 months later you're driving down that same street where you dodged the cones and steam roller and the cheap asphalt has all chipped away, so you cronnnnkkkk your wheel into it and break a tie-rod.

That's "post-truth" on a local scale.

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You know what I'm getting to here don't you?

We're being diverted from reality.

We're being bamboozled, hornswoggled, hoodwinked and hoaxed.

News isn't news, promises are just talk and substance is never intended.

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How do you like them apples, eh?

It is so rampant, such a part of the evolving culture, that it ranks as the #1 new word in the OED. The OED tells us what has been going on, how things are said, what they mean.  It doesn't predict the future. This is already on us.

I'm not only the only one heralding this. I'm in a world wide group of people who can see this is what is happening. I don't have the slightest belief that it is going to get better.

Proclamations, assertions, fact bending untruths, threats and more are going to be delivered in 140 characters or less. It buzzes, whirls, spins and gyrates until the next one comes along like so many tumbleweeds blowing across a lonely stretch of two lane highway. It's silly to honk of course but a slight swerve to avoid it might be advised. Turn too hard and you end up in the ditch or on a gurney.

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Recognizing what we're being exposed to is the only possibility for retaining a modicum of calm and sanity, because it is going to be daily if not several times daily that it rears itself.

Bellicose braying will be reduced to perfunctory snippets of "information" and "transparency" and efforts to be "diverse", while in fact they won't be anything of the sort.

The wise will seek to know more and the lost will accept it as all they need. It won't be easy for either.

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It is not a little thing that we now have a President-elect who uses the technique regularly, appealing to emotion without regard to facts e.g. " Illegal aliens voting for Hillary is what got her the popular vote."

The world is watching and the point man doesn't give a flying grab at a rolling doughnut about the truth.

Views: 344

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on November 30, 2016 at 8:47am

There will be a move back to honoring facts. It won't come soon; it'll come and it'll win.

Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 8:48am

This particular pothole we're driving into, like the one in your picture, seems bottomless and patently unavoidable. All the road signs were there. We just didn't believe them, thinking they were like the surly municipal workers guiding us through the overly dramatic make-work their bosses are so good at creating when doing what should be a simple job. Can we climb out? Probably not for another 4 years.

The wise will seek to know more and the lost will accept it as all they need. It won't be easy for either.

Comment by alsoknownas on November 30, 2016 at 8:55am

JW,

I like that viewpoint being the first one here today. Thank you.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on November 30, 2016 at 9:07am

I've come to the determination that fact have no bearing in regards to US Presidents in most people's minds.

They "righteously" call the President, who orchestrated the Camp David Accords, "anti-semitic; applaud a drone murdering, 1%-er sycophant for his Nobel Peace prize and care for the disadvantaged (while deporting more people than any other President in history) and supported a woman who made Machiavelli look like a girl scout because she had a vagina and were told too by the MSM.

That's why I think most people are "Big Brother" brainwashed by their TVs and preconceived beliefs/biases/bigotries into being "soma-ized" sheeple.  After all, "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" nowadays, right???

Comment by alsoknownas on November 30, 2016 at 9:19am

Rosi,

That's what I'm saying, except I'd have to hedge my bet on the 4 years part.

Comment by alsoknownas on November 30, 2016 at 9:38am

SBA,

The most insidious part of this I believe is that it can come from any direction.

Not speaking to your political assertions here in reply, but I concur obviously by writing this article that we're in a downside-up turvy-topsy world.

Thanks for the time to read and respond.

Comment by Myriad on November 30, 2016 at 9:52am

I'm not as optimistic as Jonathan.  Non-truth has ruled humankind forever - cf. religion for starters.  Various other ideologies.  There are occasional breakthroughs of intelligence and compassion, but the forces of idiocy prevail.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 30, 2016 at 9:52am

Why isn't this just Orwell? Newspeak. 

 

Comment by alsoknownas on November 30, 2016 at 9:57am

Myriad,

I'm not that optimistic either. But I did appreciate his inner hope.

I would say my belief in humankind was steered far from that course a long time ago, most notably in the darker writings of Mark Twain born as Samuel Clemens on this day in 1835.

Thanks for stopping in.

Comment by alsoknownas on November 30, 2016 at 10:53am

Terry McKenna,

I am expecting nothing more than turd polishing from the President-elect,and his minions and relatives.

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