Truth and Alternate Facts
We are living in strange times when our leaders and their surrogates speak about truth, and alternate facts, which they see as simply is another version of the truth. There are people who remain for the whole of their lives so much under the control of their emotional states that they are incapable of distinguishing between objective and subjective truth, so that their statements, at different times, flatly and perplexing contradict one other. They are not lying, in any sense, they would recognise as lying; it is simply that their recollection of what has happened has changed without their knowing so they are unaware of the change.
Today, there are people like this in leadership roles, so the quest to find factual truth can be difficult. A rational person participating as one interested in truth based in fact, will evaluate that chain of evidence and conclude either that the links are solid and conclusive, or that one or more links are weak and need further development before conclusion can be arrived at. They might also conclude that one or more links can be broken, usually invalidating the argument. However, if the person who is asking you to believe their truth can present or can show that parallel links already exist or can be found, they may be able to persuade you of the truth of their argument.
Today we have people in leadership who believe it is their job to interfere with others who are trying to make sense of what they are hearing. Instead of leading us to a truth based on facts, their job appears to be to propose alternative solutions leading away from the truth. Often, by simply impeding and slowing down the process through disinformation tactics, a level of victory is assured because apathy increases with time and rhetoric.
Since fact and factual truth seldom fall on their own, they must be overcome with lies and deceit. Those who are professional in the art of lies and deceit, tend to apply fairly well defined and observable tools in this process. However, the public at large is not well armed against such weapons and is often easily led astray by these time-proven tactics. Remarkably, not even media have been trained to deal with these issues. For the most part, only the players themselves understand the rules of the game.
For these people the overall aim is to avoid discussing links in the chain of evidence which cannot be broken by truth, but at all times, to use clever deceptions or lies to make select links seem weaker than they are, create the illusion of a break, or better still, cause any who are considering the chain to be distracted in any number of ways, including the method of questioning the credentials of the presenter.
Please understand that fact is fact, regardless of the source. Likewise, the truth is the truth, regardless of the source. However some of our leadership today is appearing to turn factual truth to subjective truth, and once they have done this, their surrogates take up this new truth and try to persuade all of us of the validity of the new truth.
Moreover, particularly with respects to public forums such as blogs, opinions sections in newspapers, Internet chat and news groups, the surrogates have a very important role. In these forums, the principle topics of discussion are generally attempted by individuals to cause other persons to become interested in their own particular position, idea, or solution which may be very much in development at the time. People often use such mediums as a sounding board and in hopes of pollination to better form their ideas. Where such ideas are critical of government or powerful, vested groups the surrogates has yet another role, which is to nip these ideas in the bud.
Another role surrogates have in Internet forums is to show the presenter, of the idea and any supporters as less than credible, should any possible future confrontation in more public forums result due to their early successes. You can often spot the surrogates at work because they will call for the unique application of "higher standards" of discussion than necessarily warranted. They will demand that those presenting arguments or concepts back everything up with the same level of expertise as a professor, researcher, or investigative writer. Anything less renders any discussion meaningless and unworthy in their opinion, and anyone who disagrees is obviously stupid -- and they generally put it in exactly those terms.
So, as you read any such discussions, particularly in blogs, or on Facebook, or Twitter, any other Internet source, decide for yourself when a rational argument is being applied and when disinformation or trickery is the tool. Accuse those guilty of the later freely. They, both those deliberately seeking to lead you astray, and those who are simply foolish or misguided thinkers, generally run for cover when illuminated, or put in other terms, if they cannot put up or shut up, they run. This is a perfectly acceptable outcome either way since finding our way back to the factual truth is the goal.