Disinformation is driving us all crazy

Disinformation feeds divisiveness.  The most common question of the 21st century seems to be "What is true?"  And that inquiry always seems directed in the same direction: Washington, D.C.

The divisiveness of our country has been cultivated by the shading of information to meet political biases, editorializing via omission, and the lack of any finality grounded in indisputable veracity.

This is not necessarily a new phenomenon.  Thomas Paine made this observation in 1805.

It is by keeping a country well informed upon its affairs, and discarding from its councils everything of mystery, that harmony is preserved or restored among the people, and confidence reposed in the government.

By this suspension of veracity, we are forced to speculate and suppose.  We tend to digest media fodder that feeds and nurtures our dispositions.  But what allows this grand exercise of speculation and supposition?  I believe it to be the lack of necessary corroborative facts.  We are divided because we are constantly guessing at what is true. 

We are guessing at what is true because there is an interruption in the delivery of the truth.

So conjecture becomes our pastime.  Who and what we select as inputs for the sports of speculation and supposition mold our thoughts and biases.  Though it is good exercise to vary the inputs so as to afford introspection and evaluation of one's positions, it is hard work.  The Fox viewer switching to MSNBC for a visit usually makes for a brief and uncomfortable endeavor.  And vice versa.  We are a bifurcated people.  We might as well introduce ourselves to each other with the telling of what we choose to watch and read.  It will reveal more than asking, "How do you do?"

Behind-closed-doors testimony, redacted documents that reach sunlight via inexplicably delayed droplets, stories that suddenly stop or are reliably swept away by the news cycle, and the standard "we can't tell you because there is an ongoing investigation" all interrupt any opportunity for the truth.

"Protraction is irresponsible and likely deceit," said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Keeping the people guessing as to what is true is in itself a divisive exercise.  People will flock to polarized opinions.  When investigations such as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS scandal end with a whimper sans finality, any satisfaction of truthful discovery is suspended.  And absurdity sets in when an investigation of election-swaying becomes, through unwarranted delay, the actual swayer of an election (2018 midterms).  Can we at least hear what Lois Lerner said, or maybe Andrew McCabe?  Pretty-please?

Disinformation feeds divisiveness.  The most common question of the 21st century seems to be "What is true?"  And that inquiry always seems directed in the same direction: Washington, D.C.

The divisiveness of our country has been cultivated by the shading of information to meet political biases, editorializing via omission, and the lack of any finality grounded in indisputable veracity.

This is not necessarily a new phenomenon.  Thomas Paine made this observation in 1805.

It is by keeping a country well informed upon its affairs, and discarding from its councils everything of mystery, that harmony is preserved or restored among the people, and confidence reposed in the government.

By this suspension of veracity, we are forced to speculate and suppose.  We tend to digest media fodder that feeds and nurtures our dispositions.  But what allows this grand exercise of speculation and supposition?  I believe it to be the lack of necessary corroborative facts.  We are divided because we are constantly guessing at what is true. 

We are guessing at what is true because there is an interruption in the delivery of the truth.

So conjecture becomes our pastime.  Who and what we select as inputs for the sports of speculation and supposition mold our thoughts and biases.  Though it is good exercise to vary the inputs so as to afford introspection and evaluation of one's positions, it is hard work.  The Fox viewer switching to MSNBC for a visit usually makes for a brief and uncomfortable endeavor.  And vice versa.  We are a bifurcated people.  We might as well introduce ourselves to each other with the telling of what we choose to watch and read.  It will reveal more than asking, "How do you do?"

Behind-closed-doors testimony, redacted documents that reach sunlight via inexplicably delayed droplets, stories that suddenly stop or are reliably swept away by the news cycle, and the standard "we can't tell you because there is an ongoing investigation" all interrupt any opportunity for the truth.

"Protraction is irresponsible and likely deceit," said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Keeping the people guessing as to what is true is in itself a divisive exercise.  People will flock to polarized opinions.  When investigations such as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS scandal end with a whimper sans finality, any satisfaction of truthful discovery is suspended.  And absurdity sets in when an investigation of election-swaying becomes, through unwarranted delay, the actual swayer of an election (2018 midterms).  Can we at least hear what Lois Lerner said, or maybe Andrew McCabe?  Pretty-please?