Thursday, August 4, 2016

On the creation of fact from feelings

AZBlueMeanie has a good take-down on creation of facts from feelings by conservative politicians aided by the conservative media complex. And, yes, there is such a media bias. If you doubt me, count the number of times CNN has broadcast Trump's speeches vs. Clinton's speeches. According to the Meanie, that's the conservative misinformation feedback loop.

As a scientist, I understand the process of discovery of facts and the subsequent expression of opinions about them. Thus, we have what I will call Moynihan's Dictum: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

However, the conservative misinformation feedback loop dodges Moynihan's Dictum, as explained in these observations by Jon Oliver.

According to Oliver, the most illuminating moment of the convention came from an unexpected source: former underwear model and soap star Antonio Sabato Jr., who told a reporter that he “has the right to believe” that President Obama is a Muslim, despite all evidence to the contrary.

“What’s truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true,” Oliver said. “If anything, that was the theme of the Republican Convention this week. It was a four-day exercise in emphasizing feelings over fact.”

"I think we can all agree that candidates can create feelings in people,” he said. “What Gingrich is saying is that feelings are as valid as facts. So by the transitive property, candidates can create facts, which is terrifying, because that means someone like Donald Trump can create his own reality.”

In this way Trump and other factless feckless politicians skirt Moynihan's Dictum and manage to treat feelings to be the same as fact and truthiness to be the same as truth. It is not that said politicians do this by accident or whim. They understand full well that by putting facts-from-feelings out there in the media they mislead the public because of the default belief in truth from television.

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