They Know Nothing and They Hope You Don’t Either

Readability

They Know Nothing and They Hope You Don't Either

baldilocks

My atti­tude, pretty much.

Events are turn­ing me into a rad­i­cal skep­tic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am read­ing is an empir­i­cally ver­i­fi­able account of the past. I no longer have con­fi­dence in polls, because it has become impos­si­ble to sep­a­rate the sig­nal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and polit­i­cal class over the last sev­eral years has been so spec­tac­u­larly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I some­times won­der why I con­tinue to read two news­pa­pers a day before spend­ing time fol­low­ing jour­nal­ists on Twit­ter. Habit, I guess. A sense of pro­fes­sional oblig­a­tion, I sup­pose. Maybe boredom.

The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is spec­u­la­tion. The writer isn’t telling you what hap­pened, he is offer­ing an inter­pre­ta­tion of what hap­pened, or offer­ing a pro­jec­tion of the future. The best sce­nario is that these the­o­ries are novel, com­pelling, informed, and based on report­ing and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the inter­pre­ta­tions of cur­rent events, and proph­e­sies of future ones, are merely the prod­ucts of group­think or dogma or emo­tions or wish-​casting, memos to friends writ­ten by 27-​year-​olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, “lit­er­ally know noth­ing.” There was a time when news­pa­pers printed astrol­ogy columns. They no longer need to. The pseu­do­science is on the front page.

And, the worst thing about this state of affairs is that much of the pub­lic can­not tell the dif­fer­ence between report­ing and opinion/​speculation. That’s no accident.

As I said at my blog last month, what we are see­ing isn’t new and it’s a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the spirit of lies. The tar­get: the souls of all humankind.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Fol­low her on Twit­ter and on Gab​.ai.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

baldilocks

My attitude, pretty much.

Events are turning me into a radical skeptic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am reading is an empirically verifiable account of the past. I no longer have confidence in polls, because it has become impossible to separate the signal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and political class over the last several years has been so spectacularly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I sometimes wonder why I continue to read two newspapers a day before spending time following journalists on Twitter. Habit, I guess. A sense of professional obligation, I suppose. Maybe boredom.

The fact is that almost the entirety of what one reads in the paper or on the web is speculation. The writer isn’t telling you what happened, he is offering an interpretation of what happened, or offering a projection of the future. The best scenario is that these theories are novel, compelling, informed, and based on reporting and research. But that is rarely the case. More often the interpretations of current events, and prophesies of future ones, are merely the products of groupthink or dogma or emotions or wish-casting, memos to friends written by 27-year-olds who, in the words of Ben Rhodes, “literally know nothing.” There was a time when newspapers printed astrology columns. They no longer need to. The pseudoscience is on the front page.

And, the worst thing about this state of affairs is that much of the public cannot tell the difference between reporting and opinion/speculation. That’s no accident.

As I said at my blog last month, what we are seeing isn’t new and it’s a manifestation of the spirit of lies. The target: the souls of all humankind.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!