Wednesday, 8 July 2015
Honestly, when it comes to how it all slots together, nobody knows. The news is manipulated, we are told, by the guvmint, the Vatican, the mainstream media, the illuminati (Mwuhaha!), the Freemasons, the BBC and by every political party ever heard of it. At least the politicians are sort of open about what they call ‘spin’ and it’s a very human thing to want to show your principles in the brightest possible light, but we have quickly gone from the so-called Information Age of the nineties to the post-information age… the age of anti-information. Everything you hear, everything you read and everything you see, online especially, could easily be wrong.
Perception has a big part to play; bloggers, photo-shoppers, prankers, polemicists, street-preachers, biased reporters, converts, apostates and plain old deluded fools (How many of those boxes can you tick?) abound, bringing with them the most potent and prolonged campaign of disinformation ever seen. Once it was common to leaflet-bomb enemy troops, spreading uncomfortable lies to shake their resolve. Now we do it to ourselves; for fun. Manipulating online personas to reveal their hidden bigotries is practically the raison d'être of social media at times.
It is said that that religion of nothing-to-do-with-peace practices taqiyya, a deliberate use of deception to disguise its true intentions. But that itself may just be a manipulation of the reality of avoiding religious persecution; although right now there does only seem to be one religion doing the persecuting. Where, they say, are the imams condemning the violence? Why do you not hear us, say the imams and then declare islamophobia. I’ve never liked islam but that was long before the current open barbarity and more to do with its dull, dour monotonous insistence on submission by its adherents and the blandness of life in the strictly muslim countries I’ve visited. Or is it?
But while deliberate misinformation is undoubtedly a real thing the sheer volume of verifiably true bumf now available makes it near impossible to sift fact from fiction. So even if the mountain of particulars is built on factual foundations how can we possibly process it in an enlightened way? Even when people are using real numbers to illustrate their case, other people can use the same set of facts to illustrate the opposite. So while the current government is trumpeting measures the opposition calls ‘austerity’ it is apparently the case that welfare spending rose by £28 billion under the coalition. The truth, it seems, is relative.
When I watch a movie I want deep, dark cleverly interwoven complexity. I want to be taken on a roller-coaster, who-dun-it ride with my expectations foiled as the goody turns out to be the baddy and then turns goody again. I want to be exhausted, challenged and entertained by the sheer thrill of not knowing who to trust. In real life though, I just want to put my money in the slot, press the button and get the Smarties.
Licensed to kill or thrill?
Thus I employ Battsby’s Ambiguity Principal (BAP) to state that for every fact there is an anti-fact, for every truth an anti-truth. Whatever you believe, from whatever source or sources, somebody will infer an opposing conclusion from that same base. Employing good old Occam’s razor and based on my infallible and verifiable truth that we’re not as clever as we think we are, the simplest explanation is usually the best. So remember folks, on budget day if you want to get to the truth, get your BAPs out.