Entries in truth (2)


Why the truth squads can't beat truthiness

My latest column for the Citizen looks at the entirely salutory development, during the last U.S. election cycle, of media getting back to their old role as fact-checkers. The problem, though, is that fact checking is only effective when truth is seen as a necessary element of political success.

In the age of truthiness, the  "problem with the effort to truth-squad our way back to fact-based politics is it misunderstands the way political persuasion works. Successful politicians don’t win over the electorate by giving them a set of plausible facts that in turn motivate a set of policies, they sell them on an attractive narrative. The best politicians, from Reagan to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, are storytellers."



On the true true

I asked Meronym if the Abbess spoke true, when she said the Hole World flies round the sun, or if the Men o' Hilo was true sayin' the sun flies round the Hole World.

Abbess is quite correct, answered Meronym.

Then the true true is different to the seemin' true? said I.

Yay, an' it usually is, I mem'ry Meronym sayin', an' that's why true true is presher'n'rarer'n diamonds.


David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas