As far as I was aware, I grew up in a world where no one questioned scientific fact, where if someone did research, not only could it be trusted, but no one would seriously question the research.
I now live in a world, where much of what we call “science” is nothing of the sort, instead it is political opinion cherry picking fact, such as the Met Offices latest “May is having more hot days” (it’s not), and where there is research that I find very credible, because I came to much the same opinion looking at the evidence and where every other researcher seems to agree (such as the lockup being useless), I now find that some people cannot stomach hearing the science.
From my perspective, the world has gone utterly crazy and given up on evidence based thinking. But, perhaps I am just older and wiser and less gullible, and I now see the things that I never spotted in past and the ridiculousness of assertions that I once would have taken for granted.
However, it reminds me of 1984. Of propaganda that repeats black is white, until large numbers of people will readily say that black is white. But, I cannot go along. Black is not white, and saying it is doesn’t change it.
What however is interesting, is whether this blatant lying and dishonesty is a new phenomenon. Indeed, do those who lie, actually know they are lying? My judgement is that lying is now far more frequent than in the past, and that many of those lying know full well they are not telling the truth. Indeed, some seem to almost gloat at their ability to tell lies and get away with them. Its a post truth age!
What does this mean for the future? If we have an evidence based society, based on rules of behaviour, then it follows that politicians will be judged by those rules. However, if we deteriorate into a society filled with lies and deceit where evidence does not determine outcome, then it follows that politicians will not be judged by plain simple rules and evidence, but by the quality and quantity of lies. And, if follows that the treatment of politicians will not be what is legal, but what people “feel” is right. In other words, lies by politicians and others, encourages a society where lynch mobs can and will thrive.
Of course it will not just be politicians who are at risk, we may all be subject to this lynch mob of the post-truth age, but I do think those most at risk are the political elite.