We are all guilty in “post-truth” society

The year is not very old, but this is probably the most important and challenging article you will read during it:

The Death of Expertise

The problem is, we all know the “Death of Expertise” is going on around us, yet few of us recognise it afflicts us ourselves.

For example, I have now seen well educated, highly able, very professional people sharing this picture (originating, I believe, from the Bernie Sanders campaign) countless times:

denmark

In the words of Blackadder: “There is just one problem with it. It’s b*****ks.”

Excuse the extreme language, but in this case it is necessary. We are, as human beings, inclined to believe what we want to believe. The “Death of Expertise” article above notes the essential point here: it is not that we are lying, it is that we are all engaging in the fallacy that the world is as we think it ought to be. It is not.

To re-emphasise, there is nothing at all accurate about the above. The average Danish worker works a 37-hour week; there is no minimum wage (industries negotiate with trade unions for what is in effect a voluntary living wage in certain sectors, which is typically around $11); universities, health care and child care are not free but are paid for through extremely high taxes (many people may over half their income in tax, plus everyone faces a VAT rate of 25%).

There are many reasons Denmark is the fantastic country it is, but it is simply unacceptable to say “Here is my political platform; here is a happy country; here is the utterly deceptive pretence that that country is happy because of my political platform”.

And highly educated, well respected, professional people (the “Guardian-reading lefty liberals” as well as the Mail-reading white van man) can be just as likely to fall for it. That, perhaps, is the most scary part of all in the “death of expertise”.

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4 thoughts on “We are all guilty in “post-truth” society

  1. What happened to spin it’s been usurped by post-truth

    Everyone with a healthy immune system get some free healthcare I guess.

  2. 416 says:

    Nice job.
    I’ve reached the point of ignoring these postcards.

  3. There is no such thing as a post-truth society. Lies, whether political, commercial or personal have been commonplace since ancient times. Their destructive power was recognised when the 10 commandments were written.

    What may have changed is that we have reached such a point of information overload that lies are too difficult to clamp down upon even in a regulated society where we are supposed to be guarded from lies by, for example, the advertising standards authority or trading standards departments.

  4. Gerry Lynch says:

    What liberals are yet to grasp is to what degree it is being eaten alive by concepts that it always championed: individual sovereignty, opposition to hierarchy, free exchange of ideas. In the right context they are to be cherished but they are not a sufficient framework in and of themselves for a stable and orderly society.

    …so I started with this and ended up writing 1200 words, so I’ll publish it as a blog post later today!

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