Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our Post-Factual Era

We are officially living in a post-factual period of time, where actual facts are second to agendas, feelings, opinions and emotions. It's not that facts aren't important; they just take a clear back seat to the almighty narrative, and all that supports it.

Exhibit A: CNN just announced its plans to swap out news with a zany mix of opinion, documentaries and entertaining content delivered with "attitude." How grand, because that's exactly what our culture needs ... an injection of more style ripe to be mistaken for, and presented as, substance.

Many have noted (usually with a simple sigh and a shrug) that Orwell was as much a prophet as an author. My concern is that Mike Judge might be joining him as a cultural soothsayer.

What's at stake?

As educators, we can expect incoming waves of students to mistake opinion for fact; or, at least not to discern any difference of value between the two concepts. And, the louder one talks and the more he repeats himself, the stronger his case will appear.

Or, I should say: The louder and more frequently one repeats himself, the more correct he'll be, period.

Thinking critically, and divorcing oneself from a subject to conduct an objective review and analysis ... these will increasingly become lost arts unless educators step in and try to reverse this tide. 

But working against a strong cultural current is nothing new for educators - we are up to the task. I would only add that, if you disagree with me, get a brain, Moran!

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