A guide to truth

“I have no power to make other men see the truth.” – Professor Albus Dumbledore, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” J. K. Rowling.


At times, in efforts to impart truth, each of us has felt the great wizard’s impotence

From time to time I bring this up. I suppose because it perplexes me so.

Throughout my 10 years with Internet access, I have been forwarded those political “truths,” either by persons who believe them or by friends whose intention is to share what’s being circulated.

These formula emails are more than likely written by political hired guns with great propaganda skills, then put into perpetual motion.

I simply don’t understand why any person with an intelligence level above a garden slug’s cannot see through them.

The identifying factor is that these emails all follow the same formula:

1. The original author is never identified, and they never offer any reliable sources for the information they impart.

2. They are filled with words which appeal to the readers’ emotions rather than to intellect.

3. They insist the reader pass the email along to others, for not to do so will result in dire consequences for God and country.

4. They often proclaim, falsely, that snopes.com says the information within is “truth.”

5. They are, in fact, full of lies.

Snopes.com is THE source for verifying that such emails are “false.” Another reliable source to check the proffered information is factcheck.org.

After 10 years – maybe more – of receiving this crap, then passing it along to others, you would think people would pick up on the pattern, would realize they are being used as conduits to spread misinformation, aka lies.

Not so.

Which brings me to what I feel is the most important post ever to appear on DemWit. It is gratifying that a number of Web sites have linked to the post.

A friend typed the featured essay for me from an old book I’ve kept through the years. Before that, the essay was nowhere to be found online. Now, it seems a number of sites and blogs have lifted it. That’s great, as long as it’s being read.

And being read it is. With great contentment, I note that I have a number of visitors every day – via links or Google - who come looking for the essay’s content.

Read it, my friend, and let it affect your life and your thinking. Let it guide you to truth:

“Detecting propaganda”


Infidel753 said...

I simply don’t understand why any person with an intelligence level above a garden slug’s cannot see through them.

Interesting question.

They are filled with words which appeal to the readers’ emotions rather than to intellect.

And I think this is the key to the answer. It's possible to have intelligence and, in many situations, not use it. There's an obvious bias in favor of beliefs we find reassuring; when we want something to be true, we go looking for evidence to support it, rather than starting with the evidence and seeing where it leads us. And humans, being primates, are social animals with a strong instinct to organize themselves into dominance hierarchies. Our genetic predisposition is to behave (and expressing and even holding beliefs can be considered a form of behavior) in those ways which make it easiest to get along with the people we spend time with, and which win the approval of those we have learned to respect.

It's not that people automatically do these things, but it's the default tendency in the absence of strong counteracting forces such as effective education.

"Detecting propaganda" is very good. I'll definitely put it in my next link roundup.

Tiny's Tidbits said...

Formula emails! Tiny dubs it the best definition she's heard for such tripe. But, as she often says, you have to consider the mentality of those who send them. Can they really convince themselves of such petty, unrealistic spawnings? Or is it just wishful thinking for self fulfilling prophecies? Evasion does not lead to truth!

Recommendation: Put on those mental walking shoes, get on that sojourn which leads to truth. It will cost you a lot of propaganda you have tightly embraced. Truth often is painful. But as the Good Book reiterates, "Truth will set you free and you are free indeed." Try it, you might like it. For the land of the free resides in your mind.

"You gotta walk that lonesome valley; you gotta walk it all by your self; there's no one here to go there with you, you gotta go there by yourself..."

The same spplies to the info listed on an essay linked at the bottom of this blog post is a keeper: "Detecting Propaganda." Another must read.

Frodo, A Species Unto Himself said...

"Some men are born knowing, others die searhing."--Antonio Banderas

airth10 said...

I was listening to Dick Cheney, and his truth, going on about how the Obama administration is stripping many of the his administration's policies that helped make America safe after 9/11. But he didn't recognize how many Bush&Co policies contributed to making America less safe.

Bush&Co. managed to make America less safe through disastrously executing two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By running these two wars so incompetently it managed to enable the enemy and increase its numbers. The situation in Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban there and in Pakistan is a perfect example.

Cheney only sees his truth.