Conversation Society, News and Sport
Helper icon Helpers: Chris2mates , LLstill , PrincessFruitBat

About us

Midsummer's Eve is a free online dating community - based around friendship, real meetups, real people, and real relationships. We've been online since 1999 and have twice won Radio 2's Web Site of the Day award. So why not join us for free and join in the discussion?

Is truth no longer fit for purpose as ...

A property of being in accord with fact or reality?

1 2 Next   Last  

Beach  Male  Dorset
23-Feb-2019 17:33 Message #4735887
Like the philosophers of ancient Greece, we could have a deep and meaningful regarding what TRUTH actually represents as a human concept OR we could just examine how truth is presented to us in our current 21st century world.

Either way, as has been recorded throughout human history, truth herself remains an elusive, untrustworthy, mistress never quite giving 100% of herself … and even if she did, there would always be some doubt or counterweight to fix the scales one way or another in denial of whatever fact or reality she presents.

Deciding to have a Google free browsing experience for a couple of months, I recently defaulted to a browser presenting Microsoft’s MSN home page complete with a comprehensive news related front end wondering if that change might deliver a different browsing experience.

First thing I noticed, (like many established online news providers), was the sneaky way advertising based “News Headline” stories were seamlessly integrated with regular, contemporary news.

“Dairy Crest sold for £1Billion”, “Space X launch to go ahead”, “How to source mushrooms safely” were genuine stories curated from other, legitimate news sources but squeezed between them in an identical GFX/text format was “How much do I get for my Rolex, (an Ad) and, a little bit further down, “Mega jackpot sends UK into frenzy”. (An Ad).

Along with similar ads elsewhere proclaiming, “This product is breaking the internet” or “Undertakers/banks/life insurance/insert whatever … don’t want you to know this amazing secret” … being advertising pretending to be real news stories.

And on a serious level, when we have the adolescent President Trump, now the most powerful and dangerous, though fascinating, human being on the planet being influenced by fake news and contrived online media, we have to admit that not only is truth taking a battering in our online media but it is also capable, (once twisted), of leading this planet into some terrifying thermonuclear exchange! Trump makes policy on the hoof, with some, if not all of his views, being formed instantly following his viewing of some online video, news snippet or hurtful meme. (Hurtful to his wafer thin self esteem).

Even leaving fake news aside, there are more insidious forces at work.

You’ll, likely, see different news headlines to me, (with powerful A.I software harvesting you with news feeds and ads designed to influence your buying or political decisions) and, at an even deeper level, every one of your emails, (written or received), will be being processed to further learn more about your private life, intimate desires and/or general outlook

… and deeper still, the government/the state can track EVERY aspect of your life.

TRUTH is now just a bit player in our 21st century world, being superseded by forces more interested in milking you for cash or steering and controlling your very thoughts.

And these days, with one online news headline being presented/slanted according to a dozen differing perspectives, HOW can we possibly know what is true and what is not?

OR are we happy just dialling in news that suits our own particular, personal, agenda?
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
23-Feb-2019 18:43 Message #4735891
I have always gone along with the old "truism" that there are three versions of the truth; yours, mine and what really happened.

But joking aside, I have similar concerns about what is going on at the moment, Mr Beach. I don't know if it is possible to tell what the truth is, half the time, or even at all ever. It is so subtle (or not so subtle often) and multi layered that even those of us who think they can see through it, I think that even they are having the wool pulled over their eyes. What I see at the moment, especially over the dreaded Brexit is that there is a lot of emotive language used and it is all designed to make us react on our emotions, instead of using rational objective thought to make decisions. It is a quite deliberate ploy to make people jump the way the puppet masters want us to.

On and off during my career, my duties have included monitoring advertising for certain larger corporations as an internal back stop to make sure that they are complying with legislation and won't get into trouble with the enforcement agencies. Consequently, I am well aware of many of the little tricks that are played and many of them are quite legal. In fact, one of the basics of any advertising is to elicit an emotional response from the target audience, and certainly with the Brexit situation, I can see that being played out day by day. You only have to stand back and, instead of noting the content, look at the actual language that people are using on Facebook and sites like this to see that is working very effectively.

One thing I do know is that behind every single story that you see in the media was a press release, which someone powerful has commissioned and paid for to get across some persuasive message, be it government, commercial advertising or other lobbyists. The news stories are used by "so-called" journalists to construct the messages that we see. I say "so-called" because I firmly believe that every little grass roots investigative journalism goes on nowadays.

It strikes me as a monstrous irony that in this day and age, when people are better educated than ever, general IQ is slowly increasing and with greater access to all kinds of information at out fingertips than ever before, I see that we are being manipulated and controlled at the highest level ever. Frankly, I find it quite terrifying.

It's like living in a production of the Truman Show every day, and in the US, it is like the Handmaid's Tale come true. In fact I was a meme on FB the other day that said something along the lines of ... I really feel for those writers of dystopian novels who are having their ideas brazenly stolen and used daily by government to run the country.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
23-Feb-2019 18:44 Message #4735892
Good lord! My post was nearly as long as yours then.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
23-Feb-2019 18:48 Message #4735893
And I missed a bit off the paragraph "One thing I do know is that behind every single story that you see in the media was a press release, which someone powerful has commissioned and paid for to get across some persuasive message, be it government, commercial advertising or other lobbyists. The news stories are used by "so-called" journalists to construct the messages that we see. I say "so-called" because I firmly believe that every little grass roots investigative journalism goes on nowadays".

The point I meant to make is that if you want to get to the truth of any news story is to sit back and ask yourself. Who stands to benefit by this story? What did they hope to achieve? What do they want me to do about it? What is really going on here? It was a very senior marketing executive that gave me that piece of advice.
BunnyGirl  Female  Buckinghamshire
23-Feb-2019 18:58 Message #4735894
I have a mind of my own and if the government think they can pull the wool over my eyes then they
better think again. They can delph into my life as much as they like as they will not find any thing
untoward as i am completely gosha. So they would be wasting their time. Anything to do with
money i am not in anyway going to give out money to something i do not want or know about.
As for the truth i can usually tell if someone who is lying. Plus i hate liars and con people.
Only you can make the choice of what to think or do. I know my choices lol
Beach  Male  Dorset
23-Feb-2019 19:33 Message #4735898
Wow, Minnie. What an amazing, insightful post!

And yes. It must be a record, (mustn't it?) … length wise??!! :-)

I have to venture forth on the town right now but assuming I don't perform some tactless Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde faux pas, I'll attempt to add my two penneth of a reply later this evening or tomorrow). :-)

Thank you for your thoughts. Appreciated.

That's the point, Bunny.

As Minnie has brilliantly outlined, (above), can you be 100% sure that your thoughts are really your own?

Laters. :-)
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
23-Feb-2019 20:40 Message #4735901
"It strikes me as a monstrous irony that in this day and age, when people are better educated than ever, general IQ is slowly increasing and with greater access to all kinds of information at out fingertips than ever before, I see that we are being manipulated and controlled at the highest level ever."

But what is IQ?
I would pose the question, does what we use to measure IQ at present actually ensure:
a) Do we really know if we are subtly being influenced even if we are convinced we are not?
b) Does an ability, even training in interpreting research (as I have at undergraduate level) equate with the type of IQ we use to measure intelligence?
c) In addition, does any level IQ equate with our own levels of self-awareness?

I blame an English teacher I had at age 12 and I have never forgotten her telling the class about how she would not buy something just because an advert had tried to influence her. She "infected" me with some kind of earworm not of the music kind where I have some similar algorithm in my head, "Is this influencing me and does it matter?".

Still, I would never say never. Do I go willingly, do I go kicking and screaming, do I go and not even know I am going down the pathway of influence?
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham
23-Feb-2019 20:43 Message #4735902
Aye indeed Minnie - the advice you were given goes back a very long way.
"Cui bono ?", literally meaning "who benefits?", is a rhetorical Latin legal phrase which implies that whoever appears to have the most to gain from a crime is probably the culprit. For 'crime', substitute business, political advantage or whatever suits you.
And 'tis a question well worth posing.
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
23-Feb-2019 21:18 Message #4735907
'when people are better educated than ever'
I would prefer, 'differently educated', or 'know less of more', though I do almost totally agree with what you say Minnie.
Course, it does beg the question, why? why do we put up with it, why do we defend it?

The ony truth I know is what I believe to be the truth, which is probably more often than not, false, so perhaps like many, I just ignore it and float with the boat.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 01:49 Message #4735934
Better educated, because a 100 yrs ago, the standard school leaving age was 14, if kids got to go to school at all and illiteracy levels were still very high. Education to degree level was reserved for a privileged few.
Clocky  Female  the West Midlands
24-Feb-2019 10:41 Message #4735942
I think people are educated differently these days to the shame of our government. Gone are the life skills and creative aspects that help children develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. If you're not an 'academic' and more of a 'creative' you get left behind and are under-valued for what you can bring to the table within a class setting. This changes slightly when children get to secondary school and slightly again when they go into college or university... but only because children are then able to make their own choices and, as adolescents, can pick a completely creative course. While this looks good, if you haven't got the academics behind you (for whatever reason) then you are less likely to be able to access these courses in the first place.

This country is screaming out for tradesmen/women, yet from the outset is doesn't encourage that part of the brain used by creative types. If you look back at some of the things we're trying to preserve from our history such as buildings, art, furniture and other antiques you'll see a whole set of skills that have died out.

I work with special needs children, primary setting ... here's just 2 examples ... inattentive adhd child with dyslexia ... had failed every writing test the school has ever given them ... I asked that I could have 10 minutes with them and was scoffed at ... what could I find out in 10 minutes that they didn't already know ... but I got the 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes speaking to this child I gave him a sheet of paper and asked them to draw about the text I read ... they ended up with a mind-map ... then I asked them to write a review of the text. The spelling was way off but phonetically readable ... this child wrote the most they had ever written and the best quality to boot ... all because they were able to organise their thoughts on paper in a creative way.

A child with autism ... 7/8 yrs old ... given the most basic of work because staff haven't had the time to work out how best to support them. Unable to read or spell not to do any basic maths ... yet when I used resources that they were fascinated with (game goblins, crystals, wizards, woolly mammoths etc) they began to learn. This child is now starting the journey of reading, spelling and maths with gusto.

My own creative thinking was encouraged by my mum and schools throughout my academic years ...without this i wouldn't be able to do my job at all.

One massive bonus of creative thinking is that you truly think for yourself ... you're constantly analysing the 'how's' and 'whys' and you tend to find your own way through your own observations.

This post isn't in opposition to academics it's purely to tout the creative thinkers.
Clocky  Female  the West Midlands
24-Feb-2019 10:47 Message #4735943
Apologies ... i went off on huge tangent.

As you were :)
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
24-Feb-2019 10:50 Message #4735944
Excellent post clocky.
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
24-Feb-2019 12:08 Message #4735947
Excellent post Clocky, and my apologies Minnie, I wasn't meaning to demean your comment in any way and Clocky has put my thoughts so much better than me.
I see so many people coming out of university with degrees who quite honestly have no idea of anything other than the words they have read or the requirements of whatever course they did.
What does this all have to do with truth?...whether truth exists or not I'm not capable of debating with the likes of many on here, like many I have only opinion but it does seem we are losing whatever little grasp we had of anything resembling any kind of truth that would enable us to live in what we call 'the real world'

Beach  Male  Dorset
24-Feb-2019 13:46 Message #4735957
Yes, Minnie,

Regarding the emotional response point with regards to journalism, etc

I never had training or professional help in formulating the PR and media behind my own innovation related successes or adventures BUT I always knew that a paper or magazine needed text inches and that a journalist always needed to fill such spaces so I always used to present a narrative of my adventures as an inventor, truthfully but purposefully keeping the genuine element of peril I was usually in … as a hook to tie a few of my latest advances or progress to.

Early headlines used to shout, "Inventor looking for help to sell the idea" … which was really a plea, (by me), to try to gain or gather some local support to enable me to further pursue my invention and R & D. (Several of these press releases, always emotive, always David versus Goliath anecdotes, (and always actually penned by me), ran alongside as I progressed my technology).

And journalists loved me because I made their lives easy, delivering them beginning, middle and end of a storyline suitable peppered with whatever dragon I had slayed that week or month.

After winning backing and some big awards a few years later, the headlines became, "Award winning inventor is backing town", as I outlined plans to ensure that all further marketing, tooling up, production and sales would hopefully involve my local community rather than just the highest bidder aiming to promote my technology.

So yes. Even being green behind the ears, I knew that a more intimate, emotional relationship with the media would be beneficial … though, rather than ever calling my actions cynical or obviously in my own interest to promote, it really was a symbiotic relationship with the media providing me the voice and me providing the media the story! :-)

I'm guessing things are a tad more cynical now though. :-)
Beach  Male  Dorset
24-Feb-2019 14:00 Message #4735959
Interesting points regarding learning.

Especially interesting if the quality of that learning could be impacted or impaired depending upon what level of truth is being reflected back to some pupil or student … especially in an age where research may be carried out or conducted online.

I agree, Clocky. The very act of rolling up one's sleeves and getting stuck in, (with tools, with an elder's wisdom or with some good old fashioned trial and error), is way, way more a superior means of learning how to perform a task … rather than simply be asked to repeat or copy a screen or page of text.
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
24-Feb-2019 17:27 Message #4735982
It's why we need recognition of more diversity, people not squeezed into pigeon holes and strict regulation of the working day in this society of increasing IT availability.

We should look at what people can do, what they have to offer, rather than trying to squeeze often gifted people into somewhere they don't feel they belong.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 18:16 Message #4735989
Huge tangent sounds great to me, Clocky.
But then I know already what an incredibly talented person you are in many aspects of your life.
It sounds like you are also an extremely gifted teacher and enabler.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 18:20 Message #4735990
Terry, no offence taken. I just wanted to clarify that my comments were written in the context of us (those of us in the developed world, at least) living in times when ordinary people are better equipped than ever to divine the truths used to manipulate us and yet, we are up against ever more sophisticated means of control.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 18:24 Message #4735991
Mr Beach, yes, the long post from me for a very long time. It's the first time for a long time, that I saw something that both interested me and engaged me and hadn't already descended into a slanging match. I am afraid that my creativity heads for the hills when I see a lot of negativity.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
24-Feb-2019 18:40 Message #4735993
I think we get hung up on truth as a concept, we get it mixed up with right and wrong, good and evil, humans also like simple answers especially to complex questions, which I think often leads us to confuse simple with simplistic. Obviously our legal systems require the facts of a matter, but are facts the same as truth? There are some facts we find easier to cope with than others, we think them more "true", the facts of an event are important and I think we all except that, but what about when it comes to how we feel about an event? Are our feelings less "true" because they're often individual, arn't they too part of the event? Feelings can be more or less "true" when its about an act that society finds abhorent, we're supposed to feel a certain way, we're told by the media what to feel and who to direct those feelings at, that becomes part of the "truth" of a matter.

I don't think we're very good at teaching people how to learn, we have lots of tools for learning but a tool is just that, how its used or misused is dependent on the user and how skilled they are. Our education system has been very good at turning out worker bees, worker bees who service the establishment and keep its palms well greased in exchange for a small amount of sweet stuff. The establishment has become very good at making us buy into its narrative thats self perpetuating, it dosen't really want us asking awkward questions, so it dosen't teach us how to ask, how to examine, how to take an idea or a question and interrogate it, to come up with alternatives to what it wants you to think is true. It wants us scuttling down narrow thought channels like rats in a maze, its really fearful of what might happen if we realise we're in a maze and the walls of the maze our creations in our heads and not real. I wonder if its part of the reason why, in this country, we've been so dismissive of intellectuals? I wonder if its the same reason as Rome was so anti philosophers, they might encourage people to ask awkward questions?

I think we have a crisis of information, rather than a crisis of truth, information that we're not equipped to handle and now we have a culture that has a wider information base than ever before, but no metanarrative to fit it into. So we react by wanting ever more simplistic answers rather than knowing and having the courage to educate ourselves on how to ask questions of a question.

I could go on, but I think I'm possibly getting a bit silliphosicle
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 18:45 Message #4735995
Interesting that some folks have homed in on one tiny bit of my long post and seemingly missed the general sense of the post. It seems that mentioning those two letters IQ can be a bit of a red rag. I mentioned IQ only because I was thinking of how our brains are changing in an increasingly technological world. Within the context of the thread, IQ is generally understood to measure deductive reasoning.

However, gin off topic now and in response to a couple of comments, some of my own thoughts on people with high IQ. Ironically, people who are high IQ usually don't do that well at school and tend to under perform. I would hazard a guess that they have difficulty in being shoe-horned to conform to the system and that they often don't think in a way that academia and general society expects. The schooling system often aims mostly at the mediocre and people who are at either end of the school spectrum are usually failed by the system. Clocky's examples show that very well. People with high IQ usually don't follow a career in academia, with some exceptions. They tend to be creative lateral thinkers, rather than the stepwise thinkers who for the most part occupy academic posts. Of all the Mensans that I know, they are usually very practical people and choose a career where they can be practical and use their well developed problem solving skills. Almost to a man or a woman, they are sightly socially awkward, often show many if not all of the general characteristics of Aspergers and to my non professional eye well up there on the autism spectrum. I wonder if that is why they are so often misunderstood?
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
24-Feb-2019 18:49 Message #4735996

ha ha gin shows where my mid was. :)
Clocky  Female  the West Midlands
24-Feb-2019 20:20 Message #4736005
Re the IQ test ... Which intelligence does it test of the 9 that we know exist?

Here they are:

Naturalist (nature smart)
Musical (sound smart)
Logical-mathematical (number/reasoning smart)
Existential (life smart)
Interpersonal (people smart)
Bodily-kinesthetic (body smart)
Linguistic (word smart)
Intra-personal (self smart)
Spatial (picture smart)

Which one do you need to be able to deduce the truth from something you've seen, heard or read?
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire
24-Feb-2019 20:40 Message #4736009
That list was devised by Howard Gardner, I have a couple of his books on my shelves.

Human potential can be tied to one’s preferences to learning; thus, Gardner’s focus on human potential lies in the fact that people have a unique blend of capabilities and skills (intelligence). This model can be used to understand “overall personality, preferences and strengths” Gardner asserts that people who have an affinity toward one of the intelligence do so in concert with the other intelligence as “they develop skills and solve problems” (, 2009).

But separate to that, in my personal view, is conscience and drive.

So does where truth come into it?

It's back to my previous thread some months ago, where I referred to psychopathy. People who lack conscience and hence people not too bothered about truth.

I suppose in theory you could have any number of various types of intelligence, but not necessarily use it ethically or morally. In any case, these are yet another component of not just what we can learn, but how we choose to apply it?

1 2 Next   Last  

 Back to top

 Help with conversations