I like this Post-Truth critique by Andy Paine particularly his comment about tertiary education.
The recent government funding cuts to arts degrees in Australia are part of an attack on the idea of the university as a space dedicated to the abstract quest for knowledge. Governments like ours (and indeed, the hierarchies of many universities) see tertiary education as valuable only in as much as it supports economic acquisition. But if we want a society that values the truth, we need to support the pursuit of understanding for its own sake.”
What we need also is better organisation.
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We are living in the “post-truth” age. It’s a line repeated so many times in recent years it’s become a cliché. Hasn’t the truth always been a nebulous, subjective concept? Haven’t humans always told lies? It seems a bit short-sighted, even arrogant, to think there’s something unique about our current era.
Yet there is something particular about our time that deserves mention. A combination of the philosophical ideas of “post-modernism” that value a multiplicity of perspectives over the notion of one objective “truth”; and technological changes that encourage a subjective, individualised way of viewing the world. These have certainly impacted our culture in a way that has changed our relationship to “the truth” as an idea. Commercial and political interests have both used and extended these changes to make them a prominent part of public life.
In a great example of self-fulfilling prophecy, “post-modernism” is a term that seems to…
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