Lies in an informational age.

   In a world progressing in its ability to supply the population with information, care hasn’t been taken to secure truth.  The line between truth in reality and lies of a virtual world have been so blurred, the two sides have become indistinguishable.   

   I often wonder if everything we’ve ever know has been a lie all along, or if now we are more able to determine fact from fantasy.   Have politicians always lied this much, or are we now more able to deduce that they are lying?    Or are we even able to determine the truth at all?   In fact we are being lied to so much and from all sides that it has become difficult to distinguish what is fact and what is a fiction.

   Lies are like opinions on art.  In a society unable to engage in rational analysis and comprehension, lies become validated by the amount of people willing to repeat them.   For example, I give you an experiment that my friend and I devised while he (not me) was in the art program at UCF.   He was a great artist, but I posed the question, “What makes this piece of blank canvas better than that one?”  It was posed in the context of, if both canvases were shown blank.   After much debate we came up with, “Lies”.   Or to be more specific, “Marketing”.   To test this theory he created three pieces of art.   Each was equal in its lack of consideration, technique, and appeal.   We had other students look at them and weigh in with their opinions.  All but one thought they were weak at best, and would be considered junk.   Please keep in mind, we’re not scientists, and this was the closest thing we could come to as a control group.   Hardly what I would consider unbiased, but that’s okay we’re not writing a thesis or anything.

   After much difficulty he was able to get the worst piece in the mid term art show.  The show was where we were really going to see some results.   We had an older friend who really looked the part of a mature, pretentious art snob.   He was our roaming ad, and was perfect, with a soft but deep voice, long silver hair that was neatly pulled back and a very friendly smile.   His job was to mingle with the show goers and really offer up some serious BS about the piece.   He was in a way, “selling” it.  Now days you’d say he was generating BUZZ.   He wasn’t the only one mingling.   I and two others were also roaming close to the piece.   But we weren’t talking it up, we were listening.

   Now, the piece wasn’t going to win Best of Show, or anything like that, due to our experiment.   There were too many truly good pieces of art for that.   But what it did do, amazed us.   On two separate occasions, separate people were overheard repeating the dribble that our roaming ad was spewing out.  And on one of those occasions a third party agreed with the gallery goers critique.    Overwhelming?  No, but to us that was a huge success.   Three people buying in to what amounted to a Lie.   Art, of course being one of the most subjective topics, was only a quick look into how some forms of art become popular, even if in reality…   It’s crap.   So too can bad information become popular policy, if no care is taken.

   I guess any ad agency could have told you this would work, but what did we know?   My point is, politicians and media lie to us every day.   Without our ability to engage in conscious analysis of what we’re being told, and the information we’re being given, we may actually repeat the lies.   In return giving them some sort of validation to people who might be listening to us.   And then they repeat it to people who might be listening to them.  It’s a nasty cycle.   So question everything you hear, and these days believe only half what you see.  Unless you see it first hand, RESEARCH it, and come to your own conclusions.   Pass along what you have learned, and what you know to be true, for there are many out there who mean to deceive us.

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