“Where entertainment and opinion reign, and objectivity has left the building.”

True Enough: Learning to live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo is quite an interesting book. It opens your eyes to see and notice the world in a way that you’d never expect to see it.

If you thought that you were confused before, wait until you read this book.
After reading True Enough, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. There I was sheltered in my safe little bubble and Manjoo stuck his finger out and popped it. Now, I’m bare to the harshness of the world with skepticism of what I am to believe.

Manjoo finds that facts are actually not what determine our belief systems. With the development of technology, everyone can publish and be heard (like this blog, I’m entitled to my “facts”) but it’s up to you as the reader to determine what you want to believe. And it is not doubt that everyone can find people who, like them, believe in the same ideology as they do.

He cites numerous studies to weave a solid argument — that many of us have made for a long time but didn’t have the actual documentation — that people increasingly see truth as what they already believe and in this increasingly fragmented media age with many “mass media” outlets in trouble people consciously and unconsciously choose media sources according to their existing beliefs. But it isn’t just that: he underscores how these perceptions involve very different perceptions of reality.

“Americans aren’t turning off the news. What is changing, to no one’s surprise, is where people are getting their information.”

The media owners and executives are very well aware of these psychological phenomena. In our society, different groups of people are served by different types of media. And they are taking advantage of this phenomenon. Biased assimilation says that people tend to interpret and understand new information in a way that accords with their own views.
It is becoming more difficult than ever to distinguish facts from fabrications, be they intentional or not; and the book leaves us none the wiser in this respect. However, it does address deep and important questions about the society we live in as well as about the ways we consume information. Perhaps more importantly, it shines some light on the process through which information is gathered and eventually delivered for our viewing. No matter what your political views are, this book is an essential read for any observer of politics, the media and international affairs
And that’s truth and a fact…


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