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Facts Don't Matter In Politics

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/47422005@N04/9955617383/: David Gregory Caricature
David Gregory Caricature by DonkeyHotey

From care2.com, "The Yale study proved that when people are misinformed about a subject, facts which contradict their assumptions actually make them believe their flawed information. An assistant professor of government at Dartmouth, Bendan Nyhan, found even more disturbing evidence to back up this study. From Salon:

People who said the economy was the most important issue to them, and who disapproved of Obama's economic record, were shown a graph of nonfarm employment over the prior year -- a rising line, adding about a million jobs. They were asked whether the number of people with jobs had gone up, down or stayed about the same. Many, looking straight at the graph, said down."

So this phenomenon is not just a function of how much time one spends watching Fox News. It's a natural function of the human mind.

So the next question for me is why even try? Why try to provide the facts to support an argument? Why spend countless hours scanning the Internet for information that will expose the truths underlying the artifice we call reality?

In my frustration, I'm reminded of the statement, "The world is a lie," from the documentary, I Am. It goes on to distinguish the difference between the biosphere, which is real; animals, vegetables and minerals, and the ethnosphere, which is made up of the stories created by us.

Although I think calling our distortions lies may be a bit extreme they do make up the ethnosphere that feed our cognitive maps. Maps that contain our assessments and assertions, however distorted, misinformed, biased or simply stupid they are. And we're not going to let any facts get in the way of those.

Once again, I mention the French philosopher, Baudrillard's reference to reality as a simulation? The proof of his claims about postmodernity are in our face every day. The current stage is of the simulacrum, something that has a vague, tentative, or shadowy resemblance to something else: Except in our era, that shadowy resemblance is fading more every day. All seems to be composed of references with no referents, a hyper reality.

How else can a human being look directly at facts contrary to his beliefs and use them as evidence to support his beliefs? It can only happen if that human being is so immersed in his own simulation that he cannot -- will not -- see the reality upon which the referents should depend. His references need no actual referents to ground them. They simply are.

This is how we've come to the post fact era in America. As Baudrillard proposed, we live in a fourth level simulation of reality; one that represents a reality that doesn't exist -- a Disneyland -- a Magic Kingdom, where no one can convince us that Mickey Mouse doesn't go home to Minnie at night and tell her about his day as she prepares his favorite dinner while he tucks his children into bed.

So the question for me as a writer of material for public consumption is, why am I doing this preaching to the choir? Why do I spend the time to collect the information and recreate it onto this page in the form of a column?

I know that people who disagree with me have long ago stopped reading my material. I also know that people who agree, enjoy it because it confirms their point of view.

My goal has been to pierce the veil of this common simulation called reality? Do I accomplish that or do I simply offer respite from the attacks on your personal re-creations?

Should I be satisfied to confirm your point of view or is there value in offering a view of the ground under our feet? I would love to hear from you.

Robert De Filippis    

 

Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman (more...)
 

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It is extremely frustrating. Yes, you are preachin... by anna kakol on Friday, Sep 27, 2013 at 6:13:07 PM
If your intellectual education, self- or formal, d... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:02:26 PM
I myself, am having difficulty at times understand... by anna kakol on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:55:25 PM
Not you at all, Anna, as your comments are lucid a... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 2:30:25 PM
I accept those big facts. Maybe, I'm just tired of... by anna kakol on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:33:16 PM
And I can hear your thoughts, "the h.. with them".... by anna kakol on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:51:47 PM
And just as a side note, I really wish I could hav... by anna kakol on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 4:10:58 PM
Find people you trust, without making them into he... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 4:17:02 PM
Every writer writes only for himself.if you want s... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 8:54:16 AM
Writers certainly begin for their own reasons but ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:19:18 PM
"In my frustration, I'm reminded of the statement,... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:12:00 PM
"This is how we've come to the post fact ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 1:42:22 PM
returning to  this  I can only say that ... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 2:13:29 PM
It can be a vice, certainly a frustration, without... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:37:35 PM
Sorry, I am one of those who take liberties with t... by anna kakol on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 2:21:30 PM
"We" may be fine, and of course groups of adults e... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:33:15 PM
Thank you all for your valuable input. Best... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:32:31 PM
That's it?  "We" friendly critics spend more ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 3:46:20 PM
At this point, that's all I have. Stayed tuned. Be... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:07:05 PM
I was mainly joshing, of course.  You have no... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 1:33:22 PM
"The world is a lie" is a quote from the documenta... by Robert De Filippis on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 11:13:09 PM
Please keep writing.Your writing certainly prompts... by BFalcon on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:01:52 PM
  After inspecting the catastrophic environme... by Howard Lewis on Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 at 4:08:44 PM
I had noticed  that most of the writers here ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 7:19:39 AM
I make no presumption to change more than the rand... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:55:50 AM
Touche...But  it  all goes in circles. I... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 12:18:47 PM
Circle fits my image that words affect both consci... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 1:29:10 PM
David Hume wrote, "Reason is, and should be, nothi... by Derryl Hermanutz on Sunday, Sep 29, 2013 at 9:39:26 PM