During the pandemic, Twitter and other social networks censored dissidents and suppressed factually true stories to reinforce government propaganda and the interests of multi-billion-dollar companies with respect to SARS-CoV-2 and vaccines to combat it.
Started listening but didn’t finish yet. As usual so many interesting points, but I wanted to chime in to voice agreement with what you said about democracy and the people’s ability to make informed and independent decisions.
With regard to the point about Malinformation, I understand the point you are making about truth being harmful to those on power.
But to take a slightly more conservative position, I can understand that truth might be problematic, let me give a silly example.
I always liked in RPG games when they have a set of questions to probe the personality you are representing, so there would be a question like: you are in the battle field, your friend is dying and he asks if your side was winning. Knowing that you see your cause is losing, would tell him knowing that he will die feeling that he lost helis life for a losing cause.
(i might have botched this, but I hope you get the idea)
Do you tell the truth or let him die with a little hope?
I’ve only now found time to give the episode a listen, and I feel the need to thank you for covering this whole kaboodle. You’re absolutely right in that that’s what journalists are supposed to be doing, and I think you’re right when you say we seem to be heading in a totally wrong direction, seeing as how they don’t.
Truth can cause people damage in many ways. In a war, public awareness of the truth about your army’s movements, bases, and defences usually costs dearly in soldiers’ lives and military equipment. In a competitive business endeavour, public awareness of the truth about your product plans and launching dates can allow a competitor to win and leave your employees with nothing to feed their children with. In medicine, it’s (by now) a given that a patient has a right to know about her own condition in details, but it’s also widely understood that sometimes the patient needs a great deal of preparation to finally be given the truth, otherwise the truth about the patient’s condition might very well kill her.
@fabsh is trying to make the distinction in the episode; and what he’s saying, I think, is (I may have misunderstood): democratic governments can’t be hurt by truth, and if they are, there’s something wrong with them. I don’t think I can fully subscribe to that point of view either, even if we leave out the fact that democratic governments comprise people, and people can be damaged by truth. You see, the institutions can also suffer from truth; one example is police: I can envision a case of a covert operation being not just the most effective, but simply the only way of combating some organized crime; truth about the said covert operation can, if leaked prematurely, void the whole operation, and render police unable to do its job. And I’m not talking about three-letter agencies and secret services, just plain old fully-legal police work.
The fact that they are beyond the legal field, and implications thereof have been discussed on TPC on multiple occasions. ↩︎
I believe I’m also in agreement with Fab, on principle, but what I wanted to point out is that there are always caveats.
From my point of view the topic relates to how much agency, trust and independence you assign people you hide “the truth” from.
Im many cases, it’s an indication that you consider them not at the required level to handle the truth (queue the famous Jack Nicholson quote), which, for me, is a bad sign for governments to be holding of their citizenry.