Since the 2016 election, we’ve heard a good deal about fake news. Bogus sources seem to spring up overnight. Even big data can’t be trusted. (Click) How do we tell the news from propaganda in this environment? With 2.2 billion users sharing information on Facebook, alone, checking for facts is daunting. (Click) In today’s world, we need a lot more than Diogenes’ lamp (Click) to separate fact from fiction.
Unfortunately, the confusion will get worse before it gets better. A new app has grown in popularity that makes discovering truth more difficult. We must be prepared to doubt our own eyes. I’m talking about Computer Generated Imaging (CGI). The technique began simply enough as a means to make movies realistic. (“Rise of the Deep Fakes,” The Week, June 15, 2018, pg. 11.) CGI gives us the flying ships and lunar landscapes of Star Wars. It also allows dead actors to read their lines for a scene. (Click)
Naturally, mischief makers have seized upon this technology. With CGI Michelle Obama has become a porn star. (Ibid pg. 11.) Others saw more ominous possibilities. They could put words into a politician’s mouth to foment international unrest. One day, we may awake to news that Puerto Rico has declared war on the United States. Or, we may watch a bogus announcement from Iran’s Ayatollah which says he is firing missiles toward New York.
The real and virtual worlds are colliding. Making matters worse are heart stopping facts about the real world. Who could imagine that in the United States, we would separate immigrant children from their parents and feel righteous about the cruelty. (Click) Who would believe our president is deliberately creating a rift with our strongest allies? Yet both stories are true. (Click) Not as crucial but equally absurd is that he has spent more taxpayer money playing golf at Mara a Lago than the Justice Department has spent on the Mueller investigation. (Click) (“News,” The Week, June 15, 20115, 2018.)
Also true is that I’ve spent more time uncovering sources for this article than I have spent in writing it. (Click) The quest for truth is so daunting, there are times when I’m tempted to raise the British alarm: Every man for himself. (Click)
Given today’s uncertain world, I make this pledge to my narrow band of readers: whatever appears on this page will have been vetted by at least one, legitimate source. From the number of “clicks” in evidence today, you can see I mean business.