Feb. 2nd, 2017

mtbc: maze A (black-white)
The rise of fake news raises interesting questions. There are now many sources of news. Promotion of a story and seeming corroboration can be effected by coordinated, somewhat automated, social media posting, some of it state-sponsored. Even Federal agencies may now be not much funded to gather inconvenient data. Additionally, if Hollywood can bring actors back from the dead, we may fast be approaching the point where a faked recording can do plenty of damage and, even if later exposed, it may still have achieved its aim.

Given easy manipulation of the evidence and my distance from many of the reported observations of ground truth, I may soon find myself in a position where my trust in any news source uncomfortably resembles an act of faith. On what basis does one then act or vote?

1984 is still selling very well indeed in the US. Its Ministry of Truth is a powerful idea and perhaps it does not take an obvious government monolith to achieve its ends given how many American voters already believe objectively untrue but politically convenient lies.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

July 2017

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