In a world of information, we seem to have access to all sorts of facts. Or at least, information we’re told are facts. Global climate change is a fact, according to some. The reporting on MAGA hat wearing teenagers in Washington, DC, was factual…kinda. Even CNN, the self-professed leader in cable news, tells us they’re committed to facts, even when they get facts horribly wrong. Many times, they’re too busy confusing their apples with bananas.
For centuries, philosophers have tried to determine what truth is, and Man has continued to question it in today’s landscape of 24 news programs, reporters as Leftist stenographers, and Internet and real life hoaxes becoming major stories. Do we even know what facts are anymore?
No, but at least there’s a topic for a Leftist Lexicon!
What the Left thinks it means – information that supports the truth
What it really means – information that the Left thinks supports their truth, but doesn’t always
When it comes to facts, the Left isn’t always on speaking terms with them. Sure, they say they’re the “Party of Science” and “truth has a liberal bias,” but when science and truth clash with their ideology, more often than not they either pretend it doesn’t exist or find ways to talk around it.
Take abortion, for example. The Left denies a fetus is a human being, even though medical science confirms it. Instead, the Left calls the fetus a “clump of cells.” The funny thing is that description applies to pretty much every human being on the planet. And if the fetus isn’t human, what is it? A dog? A 1971 Dodge Charger in pristine condition? (Actually, if it were a 71 Charger, I’d be ecstatic.) In spite of the science, the Left wants to treat the fetus differently than, say, an endangered animal. Remember, some of these same Leftists who treat fetuses as clumps of cells got their collectivist panties in a wad over Donald Trump’s sons killing animals on safari.
Anybody want to try to square that circle?
The bedrock principle of a fact is that it’s based on what is, not what we want it to be. No matter how many flat earthers say the planet is as flat as a crepe sat on by Rosie O’Donnell, the planet is still roundish. A problem arises when dealing with humans, though. See, humans are about as logical as letting Ted Kennedy be the designated driver. (Because, well, he’s dead.) We bring our own baggage, blind spots, and ideological bents to any observable event, and that can make facts a little murkier than they should be.
I mentioned the Covington Catholic school kids in passing earlier, and this single event became the epicenter of a battle for truth. Even with a full video showing what happened, people took sides on what the facts of the case were to the point of inventing new narratives not based on the facts in play. Without even saying a word, one of the students was branded a racist, merely for wearing a red MAGA hat, which the Left says other racists have worn in support of Trump (who also happens to be a racist to the Left because he makes overt racism okay again, or something). Not only that, but a case of mistaken identity lead to death threats against the family of a student who wasn’t even there. Slight bit of an oops there, kids.
But these types of things are to be expected when we let emotions dictate what the facts are. Unfortunately, we’re in an age where emotions and perceptions create the factual baseline for our opinions, where “hot takes” that prove to be wrong are commonplace, and we emote first and ask questions never. It’s almost as if we feel we have to rush to tweet something without checking it out first because we get a thrill out of it or it gives us attention, which feeds our egos. Meanwhile, facts seem to be getting mugged in dark alleyways while pseudo-facts have become the gospel of the land.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The first key to dealing in facts is to patiently gather information from multiple sources. Over time, you’ll figure out which sources can be trusted and which are the factual equivalent of junk food. Looking right at you, BuzzFeed. By the way, Gawker called and they don’t want their business model back, so it’s yours to keep…at least until you get sued into oblivion.
Once you have determined what sources to trust, keep checking them. Just because you trust them doesn’t make them infallible. And check everything you see, read, and hear against a little thing the kids call Occam’s Razor. Simply put, Occam’s Razor states the simplest answer is usually the right one. Throw in a bit of Sherlock Holmes-style deduction (which is pretty much Occam’s Razor with a twist of acknowledging the possibility of an improbable answer being correct), and you have your network of facts.
And on a side note, don’t trust any fact checking websites without visiting them. Most of them are partisan garbage and will insult your intelligence. If they have to tell you they’re fact checkers, they’re peddling themselves, not the truth. (Insert obligatory Bill Clinton/Anthony Weiner/Pee Wee Herman joke here.)
The most important thing to remember when fact checking on your own is to be patient. Very rarely will the truth appear to you with flashing neon lights with arrows pointing towards it. That’s only happened to me once or twice in my life and I think it was the NyQuil more than anything else that made it happen. Anyway, don’t jump on a bandwagon of information because someone else is doing it. The truth takes time to uncover, and a delayed factual response is better than a quick flawed one.
Just ask Gawker. Oh, wait…