Somehow, while reading some old posts I accidentally reposted this here. Skip to the next post for more current scribblings.
A Short, Short Essay Concerning Truth in Formal Communication
It is not so shocking to say that mankind, for the most part, cares very little about actual truth. Have you ever heard the phrase "History is written by the victor"? No? Well, it's true. It's true that there is very little truth out there as everything that is written down, past on or conveyed in some sort of record has a spin on it that is tainted by the author and the social boundaries that governs his view points.
Devolution is an important word used to describe the failing of media in the more recent years. So, lets define 'devolution' in our own words. The prefix 'de' refers to a return to an original state, the loss of something that had once been gained or downward un-progress (yes, I just made that word up 'Un-progress'). In this case, we are referring to reversal of evolution. Which is to say that at some point in time news, story and record have evolved into some kind of greater existence that is superior to some earlier lesser existence into which we are now reverting. Or are the lies just more obvious now? To put it another way, truth was at one point in time our main concern when conveying thought but has recently taken a back burner to entertainment and sensationalism.
The reason I hightlighted on the word 'devolution' is due to the fact that evolution (the opposite of devolution and a necessary step that must be taken prior to devolution), in my opinion, has never taken place as it refers to modern day communication. Nor should it. Myth and religion (which is just a fancy word for a complex myth which takes the form of a organization) is vital for the survival of mankind and without it our god becomes science which has very little bearing on morality and virtue.
The original purpose of myth was to explain something in an serious and, more importantly, easy to grasp way while shielding our fellow humans from a danger that could not be fully understood or could only be explain in a way that demeans the true danger of said 'something'. Mothers for eons have been unable to explain what was wrong with young boys experimenting with their bodies except that it was disturbing and so the myth that a boy who plays with himself will one day go blind came into existence. Religion attempted to further bend society into a structure that, while not always pleasant, was in some way healthy enough to assist in it's survival by using theological mythologies to explain away punishments that kept society in check. He's not sick but instead is possessed by an evil spirit.
And so, we come to the present. There are many dangers within our modern world that seem to overwhelm the senses. If you need an example just go to the front page of NY Times or msn.com and you'll find plenty of them. But how much of this is truth? What level of concern should we have right now for the future of Earth and more importantly, how much of this information can we believe? How much of it is sensationalize to bring up ratings? How much of it is being candy coated to avoid panic?
No one person can say for certain. It is a machine that we are all little cogs and gears within. But we do know that nothing the media tells us is absolute truth and everything that is said by it should be taken with a grain of salt. There are more important agendas in the form of money and fame that dictate the stories told.