Finding the Truth in a World of Alternate Facts
I listened to a This American Life podcast earlier this week about attitudes toward immigration. One man had done exhaustive research to help him form an educated opinion. He tried to avoid biased sources, and stick to the facts. But the facts he found, while accurate, painted a completely inaccurate picture of reality. And to get to that realization--that his conclusion was flawed--he had to connect with a BBC reporter who had to translate a government document originally in German.
Then I heard a RadioLab podcast, about new video technology that allows people to map facial features and reconfigure them. The "fake news" implications were huge and fascinating. They perfectly summed up the helplessness I feel toward seeking out facts and validating claims.
Which all has interesting implications for my own investigation. And my family's past. The ultimate unverifiable thing. It's the current political environment in a nutshell. The paralysis. The distrust. I'm not just trying to to find the truth about what happened to the people I love. I'm learning how to live in a world where our understanding of truth is undergoing a dramatic transformation.