TECHNOLOGY, MANNERS AND TRUTH

#technology #manners #truth
Has technology begotten rudeness?
Are you tempted to trip someone walking down the sidewalk who is only looking down at his or her phone?
We do know that social media has begotten various versions, or definitions, of truth.
George F. Will, columnist for the Washington Post, took on this subject in a column published April 9, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Will quotes from the book “Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door,” by Lynne Truss.
The author, whose book was published in 2005, says we are slouching into “an age of social autism,” Will quotes.
Truss foresaw an age of “hair-trigger sensitivity,” and “lazy moral relativism combined with aggressive social insolence,” Will writes.
Carolyn Stewart of the Hudson Institute, who revisited Truss’ book, says social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop,” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality,” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences,” Will quotes Stewart.
“We no longer hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true,” will quotes Tom Nichols, author of “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.”
In other words, technology has made us into a rude society with a significant disregard for truth.
We probably are not all that way. Some of us may find technology just a tool to get things done more quickly. We prefer kindness, personal interaction and proven facts.
Some of us may take great pleasure in doing nice things for other people.
Others of us may resent technology as a culprit for putting us out of a good job. Some may even long to meet other nice people. Some may even be skeptical of what they read and hear.
Technology has certainly changed our world – not always for the good. But we become better people when we seek not just civility, but generosity. We become better people when we use technology as a tool, without letting it run our lives. We become better people when we seek out real truth, and base our opinions on it.
If you are one of those, and a machine has taken your job, there are many ways out there to not just earn an income, but to grow as a person. To learn about one of the best, message me.
In short, don’t assume something is true just because it fit whatever you think you believe. If you walk on a sidewalk, look up from your phone. If you are driving, don’t look at your phone at all.
Seek to be a kind, humble, generous person who respects bona fide science, reads and listens to respected and reputable information and is inspired to help others.
Sometimes, rudeness is best ignored.
Peter

THE RIGHT OF IGNORANCE

#truth #facts #opinion
Here’s a test: have you ever talked with anyone who passionately asserted that something was correct, when it clearly was not?
Perhaps we all have. Washington Post columnist George F. Will quoted Tom Nichols, professor at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School as calling it “a storm of outraged ego.”
Will, whose column on the subject was published in the Jan. 29, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also quotes Nichols, who wrote an article in The Chronicle Review on the matter, as saying there is an increasing phenomenon among college students who “take correction as an insult.”
Nichols writes, as quoted in Will’s column, that the students have been taught to regard themselves as peers of their teachers.
“College, in an earlier time, was supposed to be an uncomfortable experience because growth is always a challenge,” Will quotes Nichols. It is supposed to replace youthful simplicities with adult complexities, Will writes.
Today, according to Will, “A” is the most commonly awarded grade, given 30 percent more frequently than in 1960.
“Unearned praise and hollow success build a fragile arrogance in students that can lead them to lash out at the first teacher or employer who dispels that illusion, a habit that carries over into resistance to believe anything inconvenient or challenging in adulthood,” Will quotes Nichols.
We all probably know people with whom discussions are akin to talking to walls. No matter the correct facts, they’ll believe what they believe.
Sometimes, people gain leadership positions while completely oblivious to the truth.
The moral here is that we should embrace truth, no matter what it reveals. We should form opinions based on truth, rather than some alternative to truth.
That isn’t to say that we can’t have faith. Faith, by definition, is believing something to be true that has not been proved so. Faith can lead one to the truth.
But we must guard against treating truth as a matter of opinion. There’s nothing wrong with an opinion based on truth, but there is much wrong with truth based on opinion.
Do you know someone who seeks real education, is willing to be coached by others who clearly know more than they do and who is in search of something that might give them the financial prosperity they want? If you know such a person, have him or her message me.
Meanwhile, always search for the truth. It may present itself in ways you might not expect. When someone tells you something is true, verify it as best you can. Read about it from reliable publications. Don’t necessarily compare it to what you believe is true. Show yourself whether it is true, or not.
Shun arrogance. Allow yourself to learn. Alter your opinions if you must, but always base what you believe on what is true.
Truth may or may not set you free, but something other than the truth definitely will not.
Peter

IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS

Did you ever come across some information that you didn’t really want to know?
Did you ever wish so badly that something were true, that you actually believed that it was? When someone challenged you on its validity, did you ever say that THEY were lying to you?
Charles Simic, in an article titled “The Age of Ignorance,” in The New York Review, posted online March 20, 2014, said the political polarization in the United States has caused some parties to profess untruths as truths, to try to create an ignorant electorate.
Author Andy Andrews, in his book “How to Kill 11 Million People,” tells how Adolf Hitler killed that many Jews simply by lying to them.
It’s not uncommon for politicians, regardless of party or ideology, to lie. When the politicians start campaigning, one is hard pressed to know whether what they are saying is true. We are left to figure out the truth on our own.
We, as ordinary people, tell lies occasionally to suit our circumstances. When a lady asks you whether she looks fat in a particular dress, truth is not really what she is looking for. If you dare tell it, you do so at your peril.
No one would condemn you for “lying” in that circumstance. Other circumstances cry only for the truth. If you are selling something — and we all sell something at some time in our lives — we must tell the truth. Those who do not eventually get burned.
The saying goes that the truth will set you free. Why don’t many people in power believe that? Perhaps they don’t want people to be “free.” They perhaps want them held in the bondage of ignorance, as Simic asserts.
People of different faiths believe the “truth” of their faith. Yet, faith is defined as believing something is true, even if it is not proved. Science is defined as suspecting something to be true, then seeking to prove whether your hypothesis is correct.

So what should we, who seek the truth, do? Let’s get a few things set first.
Faith is good. We all need faith in something or someone. Our faith can often lead us to truth, even when we are not looking for it.
Science and education is good. Some of what we learn may contradict something our faith told us was true. Yet we as intelligent human beings can reconcile any differences. We can have strong faith AND still learn new things. Mostly, our faith should tell us to believe as we wish, and still interact with those who may not share our beliefs.
In short, we should always want to eeek and tell the truth. We should engage with others who seek and tell the truth. In some cases, we should humor those who kindly don’t seek the truth, and look with great skepticism on those who attempt to “create” truth from wishful thinking.
Power is not necessarily truth. We should seek truth over power, not power over truth. Facts may not lie, but if you try to make facts debatable, you may lack a solid conscience.
Simic and Andrews illustrate how lying can really hurt a society or a group of people. We as individuals must always know the truth. We must mix our core beliefs with that truth, and use that mixture to help others, and make ourselves the best people we can be. We will always encounter untruths. But we must always be strong enough to know what we know, and learn what we don’t know. That’s how good people are created and maintained.

Peter

P.S. For a dose of truth that may set you free, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau