Chasing the Spectre of Truth: Preface

The age of post-truth is upon us. Between the rise of fake news and alternative facts, and our eroding trust in media and our governmental institutions, reality is no longer singular. Perhaps it was always that way: statistics can mislead, historical narratives can deceive, and in general, memories are vulnerable to revisionism, interpretation, and well-placed fallacies.

Descartes once wrote that evidence of the senses shouldn’t be trusted because the act of dreaming proves that they can be fooled with little effort. With this in mind, it is only right to rigorously fact-check what we take for granted and cultivate skepticism as a way of life. Despite Cartesian doubt being taught in schools, its application has not been successful as we  see old enemies of reason creep out of the shadows.

This week, we look at the multiple facets of truth, and ask ourselves if there is anything that can be deemed trustworthy anymore. Can the news be false, but the leak true? Let’s find out together. Or not. After all, you can’t really trust what you read on the Internet.