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This diary isn't about the Paul Ryan speech, because that speech isn't particularly odd in the current political or cultural landscape.  Lying has become an acceptable subtext to broader arguments.

I'm fortunate enough to be a technical person by trade.  My interactions with customers or coworkers rely on delivering accurate information.  I deal in facts.

Perhaps it is a deficit in my make up that I am unable to appreciate emotional arguments based on circumspect evidence.  I've always felt revulsion at the idea that perception is reality.

I teach my son my value system, much like any other parent.  But am I doing him a disservice, by elevating honesty and reason as noble.  Does truth matter anymore?

I can't count the times I've walked away from politics.  I hear or read something that is unquestionably false, and hang my head in despair.  As a problem solver, I've never seen a problem better solved in an environment of distortion.

I wish I could say it was the Republicans only.  If anything, I'm less effected by Republican lies, because I have no investment in their policy positions.  I've never voted Republican, so I don't feel it reflects on me personally.

Democrats lie, when lying is politically convenient.  Businesses lie, when it is their public relations people feel the truth is potentially damaging.

Even if it isn't a boldface lie, it is a bending of perception to a logical absurdity.  I remember here during the health care debate the number of posters that seemed to twist in upon themselves on what was good health care legislation.  If we were presented with the end result at the beginning, we would have been severely disappointed.

I've often been criticized as an atheist for a supposed slip towards "moral relativism".  Meanwhile the society around me seem to be slipping into a kind of "reality relativism", in which the actual events of history can be filtered and twisted to fit anyone's personal ideology.

We as a nation are facing many challenges.  They aren't as insurmountable as many make them seem.  We still live in the richest nation in the world.  For a country representing 5% of the world's population, we still have incredible potential.

I'm just losing faith in our ability to find enough objective common ground to move forward on what seem like obvious solutions.  I don't want Fox News and I don't want MSNBC.  Is there anyway of getting back to PBS?


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Comment Preferences

  •  Terrific diary! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, arlandbaee, Garrett, blueoasis

    I often wonder why people see a difference between so-call "reality tv" and political discourse in this country. Kids see that the inauthentic, the  vulgar and the sociopathic often get the most attention and a better quality of life, so many act accordingly.

    One reason why President Obama remains likable (and will win reelection) is because he is cool and doesn't fit the reality tv paradigm. That doesn't make him perfect, but it does make him a heck of lot more tolerable than the rest of the crowd, clueless pundits included.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 03:44:17 PM PDT

  •  A complicated situation. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth, blueoasis
    Perhaps it is a deficit in my make up that I am unable to appreciate emotional arguments based on circumspect evidence.  I've always felt revulsion at the idea that perception is reality.
    Watch for this in our culture: Explicitly emotional language used to object to a perceived lack of rationality.

    It's very common.

    And on its own terms, difficult to resolve.

  •  The truth does matter. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth

    It matters a lot, don't discard it.

  •  Maintain your principles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth

    for your own personal conduct.

    Unfortunately, as pertains to the greater challenges we face as a democratic society, the best I feel that I can do is to use facts to discern why one side or the other is lying and then pick one  side to back accordingly...

  •  I agree with most of what you've said. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth

    The plutocratic strategies are two-fold.  Even in instances when lies or falsely created realities may not achieve majority belief, they still create an overall sense of confusion, often enough to prevent, or block as it were, any progress, or any substantive progress.  The two conditions are different.

    Our society, as well as most of the world, has been pounded with an unparalled, almost unimaginable (cognitive dissonance) propaganda in amount, degree, scope.  The chief tool is false equivalency followed closely by false dilemma, which is essential to creating the non-co-operative background to approaching everything else and parodying problem-solving behaviors.

    Both the fundamentalists/dominionists and neoliberals/neoconservatives have only one basic goal and that is the destruction of society which is the basis of their allegiances with differences being only semantic in describing the pathway and outcomes.  There's no real concern (the hyprocrisy) of collateral damages since those further the goal.

    This sort of leads to the great irony of all the building imagery in recent use.  Even with the advanced technology to this point, destruction is far easier than building or repairing, but our only political choices are implosion or
    dismantling unless we create an escape from plutocratic dominion.

    Chief neoconservative/fundamentalist allied belief: All things are possible if only you lie.

    by blueoasis on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:34:21 PM PDT

  •  When in the history of human kind didn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Dr Teeth

    humans lie?  This is not a new phenomenon. Certainly not new from politicians. Politicians will lie to get votes and people will believe them because they want to. People want affirmation.  You see that everywhere.......

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:03:10 PM PDT

  •  There are more careers in this world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Teeth

    that depend on humans convincing other humans of things then there are careers where the absolute truth/facts matter.

    This disconnect is a core of why your sales/marketing/manager types and techie/engineer types often can't communicate with each other.

    In one world, most of their experience is that if they can project their desired reality strongly or convincingly enough, reality really does change (people do things the way they want them to be done)

    In the other world, there is actually objectively correct and incorrect answers.  If you turn on the engine, it either works or it fails, depending on if you got it right.  Wanting a particular outcome has no bearing on whether it happens, except for motivating you to try.

    It is a lot easier to get extremely rich working with people and doing the "convince you to my reality" kind of work than it is to work STEM type jobs.  Furthermore every single politician with only rare exceptions comes from a "convince people" kind of job.   Lawyers work with logic, but only to game precedents and the judge/jury in favor of their point of view, and most politicians started with law.   Most other politicians were things like actors, business executives or similar types who either were wealthy enough to get name recognition or were in a career that gives such.  (Your Albert Einstein or Richard Feynman types whose names might be recognized are vanishingly rare)

    Because most people of power live in a world where objective facts don't actually matter very much, you get these kinds of disconnects.

    People who work in neither world (neither highly educated scientific-method type jobs or people-convincing jobs) usually can't distinguish a good argument from a rational proof.   They sound the same, indeed, the good argument sounds more convincing than the rational proof, because facts tend to be dry and the people serving them up are often the sort who don't do people-convincing as their primary job..

    Religion doesn't help.  It reinforces the "if I want it and can articulate it clearly enough to my fellow humans, it will happen" behaviors.

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