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Memories of the 28th Century


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"Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see." Various as far back as Alfred the Great

I have become a little dubious of the ability of many people to tell the difference between facts and fiction. I was going to title this ‘Truthiness’, but I found that truthiness’ has been redefined to mean something having the appearance of truth although it is not. That is part of the problem, but I am concerned with things that a simply not true at all, but people assert that those things are true. Then I realized that the appearance of truth was the real substance o this, so "Truthiness" became the proper word to use.

A large part of the problem is that many people don’t know what the difference is between truth and non-truth. Something that is not true is not automatically false; there is a large gap in the middle, and opinions, conjectures, rhetoric, etc. are in that middle ground.
1. The true or actual state of a matter:
2. Conformity with fact or reality; verity:
3. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like:
4. The state or character of being true.
5. Actuality or actual existence.

It may be quite harsh of me, but I include most of religion in that middle ground of opinions, conjecture, rhetoric, etc. Political opinions are also in that region, and while religion has been generally recognized as non-truth, political theorists seem to want their opinions to be accepted as fact. Currently some people who call themselves "antifa" seem to think that it is O.K. for them to impose their opinions on others, because they are opposed to fascism.

Similarly, most members of the republican and democrat parties operate as if they thought their political parties operate as if they thought their political party owns the truth, and the more toward the extremes of the parties makes them more confident in their opinions. The founders of those movements and of religious movements knew perfectly well that they were expressing opinions that were based on a few assumptions, but one rather powerful rhetorical technique is to assert something as fact in the hope that people will accept it as fact, even though it is not factual.

The only difference between fiction and non-fiction in literature is the intention of the author, and the same is true of philosophical literature and movements, including political and religious movements. Prophets, whether religious, political, or other usually are aware that they are putting together opinions and presenting them as truth. We can be certain that modern religious prophets acted that way; certainly Joseph Smith (a convicted con artist), L. Ron Hubbard (a fiction writer), Jeffrey Don Lundgren, James Jones, Elijah Mohammad, and others knew they were putting forth ideas that did not have the level of truthfulness that we expect from newspapers, sports broadcasters or even politicians. Similarly, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Nicolai Lenin, Leo Trotsky, Joe Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Kim Il Sung, Mao Tse Dung, and crowds of other political theorists knew that they were expressing opinions, and that they expected people to accept their words as truth. People generally expect that retail store clerks will be more honest than political or religious leaders, and this says a huge amount the nature of humans.

To put this into some perspective. I am of the ancient religion of the Greeks, Indo-Europeans, and related nations, Zeus, Bacchus, and so on. We know that some of those Gods exist; for example, Bacchus is wine, and we know that wine exists. And many are personifications of ideas and ideals that exist in the world.

Maybe I should have named this "Truthiness" after all, because it is largely about things having the false appearance of being truthful. Joseph Smith got people to sign statements that they had seen the golden plates; although they admitted later that they had simply seen the box in which the golden plates were supposed to be, but Smith was a professional conman, so such misdirection was his stock in trade. Marx and Engels went to great lengths to use evidence that was outdated before they ever saw it. Mussolini created some great aphorisms, and Mao published a book of sayings and aphorisms. Hitler gave speeches that are said to have been Mesmerizing. Dreaming up clever of beautiful phrases are typical of scammers. And misdirection is another art of the scammer. Pay attention to this, while he picks your pocket.

Remember that politicians are among the worst when it comes to creating the appearance of truth while containing nothing of the kind. Watch what Trump does when he lies. And watch all of the other politicians also. The skill of making things appear to be truthful although they are not is a valuable skill, and it is mostly openly used by advertisers. Be on the lookout, unless want to get caught up in the next scam like the bottled water thing, or the next step in to ACC game.


  1. kiz_paws's Avatar
    Part of the success of the famous people you mentioned -- all were charismatic. Ya gotta have charisma to successfully white wash what it is you are trying to sell, be it a notion, a creed, a way of life...etc.

    White washing the masses -- common creed here is "Giving the masses what they want to hear" -- that is presuming plenty, but doggone it, it works! For example, no one wants to know that every piece of bread or every cracker topped with cheese is filled with noxious substances that are the norm now in agriculture. The info is out there, but, no one wants to really get into it... they're comfortable being misinformed ("our government would never allow us to be in a bad place for eating a piece of bread") ... really?! Don't forget -- MONEY is the name of the game...

    Whenever the 'elephant in the room' is mentioned, you get eye-rolling, the ol' "she's at it again", doom and gloom... So it is no darn wonder that the scam artists are successful.

    I'm not a cynic ... I just talk like one...
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    I am a cynic, and I try to make that obvious to everyone.

    Giving the people what they want to hear is one thing, but Jim Jones and L. Ron Hubbard shoved what they wanted the commoners to accept, even though they wanted something vastly different from what was presented. Francis of Assisi may have been somewhat charismatic, but Jo Smith was a professional con man who preyed upon the most ignorant and gullible, and Smith's nature was obvious to anyone who looked. The commoners actually want to hear what I say, but they have been told that to listen to such things is sinful.