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Obstructions to Truth
My Medium account has been suspended and is currently labeled as under investigation without explanation after I posted this article. No big issue, all my writing is still available on my independently hosted site which is most likely where you're reading this. However this does bring to my attention a larger concern I'm beginning to have for censoring of perspectives that are counter to the broader narrative.
I think we saw a modest version of this with Coronavirus when it rapidly became outside the Overton Window to consider the possibility that it had a synthetic origin. I feel that we'll be seeing it over the next few weeks as information continues to surface surrounding the recent election as well. To reveal the truth at scale, it's important to maintain the ability to consider all possibilities in a civil way. It's when we shut out the ability to communicate perspectives in the public forum, regardless of whether the outcome changes, that the intransigent minority I reference in my banned post are driven to radical action.
Consider that nearly every outlet you use to consume information is a private entity subject to influence by outside motivators. It's worth a beat of extra effort to validate what you see as fact on the onset and come to conclusions independent of any one outlet. It's safe to say that the major social platforms can no longer be trusted as unbiased information filters on behalf of the public. Internal activists and trolls have already been shown to make tweaks to the platforms without supervision. Hop on Twitter and give 'loser' a search —
Or maybe you caught the furor surrounding Winston Churchill back in June of this year. Around the same time, the former British Prime Minister's profile photo and a critical information block was temporarily missing from google search —
If you haven't listened to the recent testimony with the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google about whether their technology enables bad behavior and how they filter truth, it's worth pushing back the block of time where you'd usually listen to Joe Rogan and lend an ear. You can check it out here:
Take stock in assessing how you come to conclusions. It's worth expanding the net with which you usually take in information. If it's being based off of what comes up in a digital feed, it's highly mutable and especially subject to internal bias. Rugged Montana social observer Lyle Benjamin points out a more zoomed out concern in this line of thinking —
I have predicted that our current age will be the least documented of the last five hundred years. Our digital archives will be fragmented, corrupted and censored in ways both accidental and malicious. By turns there will be more bits of data, and less usable information than anytime since the Bronze Age.
— Lyle Benjamin | June 14th, 2020
In short, we have access to more noise than ever but it's becoming increasingly the responsibility of the individual to find signal. The scarcity of individuals taking up this responsibility to read deeper than the surface is equally a factor in the nation's current divide. The issues we are discussing as parts of the whole are more complex than the binary tags we're giving them and need to be exchanged as such. It takes effort to pursue the truth. The broad inclination to avoid this effort is being massively taken advantage of as a means of serving up easy to find, false truths.
We're identifying too much as members of a party and too little as individuals in a society. A greater emphasis on the latter would promote the breadth of empathy that we are pretending to encourage through depth.
I promote no partisan perspective. I only encourage you to take the effort to seek the truth and I'm confident you'll find it worthy of your attention. My pull to be a cairn to others on this path is what excites me most about being a part of the Articulate Ventures Network. We are a patchwork of thinkers that want to articulate ideas in a forum where they can be respectfully challenged, improved and celebrated so that we can explore complex subjects, learn from those we disagree with and achieve our personal & professional goals.
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