Hate Speech: Caveat Emptor

It is no surprise, really, that hate crime has surged.  As a far-flung observer of these events it has always been apparent (because it has always been the case) that politicians who do not cautiously vet their own words and public statements can let loose all manner of idiotic behaviour.  A politician who rails against immigrants and minorities creates a cascading sequence of events and consequences which may be interpreted (by anyone seeking an excuse) as justification for subjecting others to the intellectual poverty and ethical impropriety of discrimination and vilification.
Anyone who speaks with influence in the media without cautious consideration of the possible gravity and consequences of potentially or intentionally inflammatory statements is either: callously unconcerned about causing harm to others, or – possibly not clever enough to be given trust with such a powerful platform for influence and ideological self-assertion.  At best, inflammatory statements such as those most recently aggressively trumpeted in the US Election could be seen as pure political spectacle and opportunistic attention-seeking; at worse, these can be interpreted as existing on a spectrum ranging from sociopathy through to unwitting incompetence.  Even post-facto statements of contrition or disavowal can not put the genie of hate back into its bottle.
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Political debate has now devolved to a level of sophistication akin to professional wrestlers hurling soundbytes, Twitter feeds and rotten fruit at one another.

Post-Truth: Ignorance is Not Strength

We have now graduated past “my ignorance is as good as your knowledge” and have entered a “post-truth” world where any witless assertion whatsoever might be interpreted as defensible fact.  There can surely now be no turning back.  There can be  no “peak post-truth” or “post-post-truth”.

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Truthiness: unsubstantiated facts for pleasure and profit.

We appear to be inextricably trapped in an infinite regress of information bubbles, themselves a consequence of the economics of contemporary journalism.  Postmodernist scholars would love this, not that anyone grants much veracity to Postmodernism anymore but then, if Postmodernists themselves are not considered to be bearers of truth, then they are bearers of post-truth and have successfully prefabricated the demise of their own retrospective “truthiness“.

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1984.  21st Century disinformation can be so stylish and retro.