Reading on Thursday 19 January

A combination of lots of articles not worth sharing (but they take time to read) and no reading at lunchtime due to a catch up meeting (which was itself quite interesting, thankfully) means I don’t have much to share today.

Over the last few days I have read a fair few articles about the concept of “post-truth” and what it means. None of them have been interesting enough to share, mostly spiraling into an epistemological mess of sociology research and Nietzsche quotes.  Now, I love a good Nietzsche quote as much as the next philosophy graduate (ask anyone who knows me!) but post-truth is ultimately about human nature and I wonder if fiction might offer a clearer outline – show, don’t tell. In that spirit, I invite people to consider the character of the Wizard in the musical Wicked who, I think, embodies the culture of post truth. Have a look at some quotes “the truth is not a thing of fact or reason, its just what everyone agrees on”, “There are precious few at ease, with moral ambiguities. So we act as though they don’t exist”, and “Back where I am from, we believe all sorts of things that aren’t true. We call it history”. So, there you have it. If you want to understand post-truth better, go and see Wicked (incidentally, a UK tour was announced today – it is coming to Edinburgh in 2018). If nothing else, it will be more entertaining than yet another article quoting Nietzsche’s “On truth and lie in an extra-moral sense”.

This article on political risk is a good read. My one niggle was his reference to using a vote (in this case the EU referendum) as a way to signal something about ourselves. As I have always said that if you want to send a message, make a speech. Votes and legislation are bad ways to send messages. As an aside, his friend sounds like he has the best job in the world!


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