Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Do You Trust?

A world of disinformation lies just beyond your computer keyboard. We've never had access to so much information nor ever had to pick and choose what is reliable and what is not to such a degree. In some ways it is a great adventure. Every conspiracy theory under the sun can be found at InfoWars or other sites that tell you that the government was involved in bringing down the twin towers, or that chemtrails are an insidious plot, or the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the government (I rather think that one is true) and on and on ... and in the meantime you have all manner of trolls on all sides of all issues out doing their best to discredit and distort.

You have those who insist the Tea Party is akin to some KKK White Supremacist group using as evidence pictures of a troll sent to a Tea Party protest. Then again you have people claiming that all those communist booths at various leftist demonstrations are somehow not evidence that the left is largely composed of communist sympathizers. It's really an amazing new world.

I just finished watching "Hating Breitbart" yesterday evening and as I write this with Diet Coke in hand, I can still see Breitbart having a good time speaking truth to stupidity.  We have this group that has been labeled "low-information voters" which might be better named, "easily propagandized voters" who stand around chanting lies they've been fed.  Watching Breitbart confront them with the reasonable challenge: "Give me one example!" is a mind expanding feast.

It's truly sad that the News Media no longer does its job.  It doesn't push for truth, instead it's become part of the propaganda apparatus of the left.  "Talking points" has become a phrase that dulls my eyes and closes my ears.  "Talking points" to me means only the list of lies I'm about to be told.

What is the solution?  I remember when I was a young student trainee walking across one of the aircraft hangers of the Naval Air Development Center with another student.  We were both studying science, he electrical engineering and me physics with an electronics minor.  We were talking about the complexity of modern airborne avionics and wondering if anyone really understood the whole system.  I remember what he said, "My father says it is all a game of 'Who Do You Trust?'" and I played that on my father who was a Navy Admiral and he agreed.  It is all a game of who do you trust.

So who do you trust?  How do you tell who to trust?  I'm a scientist and for me the first thing I trust is data, hard data.  The second thing I trust is principles, principles that have been confirmed to be true. When it comes to people I trust people who are virtuous and principled and who put duty and honor above greed and selfishness.  I've always liked Ronald Reagan's principle: "Trust but verify!"  So what standard do you apply when you're being told what's what by talking heads that make millions each year to talk on camera?  My bottom line ... I don't trust any of those people.  They are paid propagandists.  They read a script and turn it on a dime.  I trust common people much more.  G.K. Chesterton made that point in his great book "Orthodoxy."  So let me ask you again: Who Do You Trust? 

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