Sunday, February 24, 2019

Media literacy - When can you believe your eyes?

Editor's note:
One of the positive things that President Trump has done for the American people and people around the world is make them aware of the prevalence of fake news. Scott Adams, the cartoonist who created Dilbert, and an expert on "persuasion techniques" teaches that 80% of news is fake.

One of the definitions of mental illness is to be out of touch with reality. There is "fundamental reality" which is our experience based on the laws of nature wherein we manipulate phenomena and there are consequences apart from our human interpretation, opinions, and meaning making. And then there is "constructed reality" which based on social consensus, norms, selective perception, confirmation bias and projection.

Most images and videos fall into the area of "constructed reality" and what is depicted is not "real" in any tangible, concrete sense. Images, as in the case of the map is not the territory, are always fake and not the real thing. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

Being able to tell the difference between "fundamental reality" and "constructed reality" is a higher level cognitive function that most people have not attained, but, with effort, can learn.

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