The combination of populist movements with social media is often held responsible for post-truth politics. Individuals have growing opportunities to shape their media consumption around their own opinions and prejudices, and populist leaders are ready to encourage them.
How can we still be speaking of “facts” when they no longer provide us with a reality that we all agree on?
The problem is the oversupply of facts in the 21st century: There are too many sources, too many methods, with varying levels of credibility, depending on who funded a given study and how the eye-catching number was selected.
It is possible to live in a world of data but no facts.
We are in the middle of a transition from a society of facts to a society of data. During this interim, confusion abounds surrounding the exact status of knowledge and numbers in public life, exacerbating the sense that truth itself is being abandoned.
The interesting stuff doesn’t just roll over and ask to have its tummy tickled. We reckon it takes three hours of reading, thinking and researching to get into the right mood, when you might notice the unseen link, the mind-altering fact, the life- changing insight, lurking in the fireplace.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel Johnson