Posts in category 'blogmas'

  • Grappling with Misinformation

    The fourth post in my Blogging for the Holidays series, a bit on the post-truth world we live in today.

    I decided to search for the term “post-truth” before I starting writing this entry, as I wanted to confirm that I was using the right language. That took me to the Wikipedia page on the topic where I was a bit surprised to discover the term was coined over five years ago to describe a phenomenon whose consequences we’re only beginning to grasp today. And even then the term was describing something that, for years, we had all seen claw it’s way into the world, even if we couldn’t name it.

    Facts. Truth. Reality. We used to collectively joke that the way you could tell someone was crazy or high was by whether or not they described the sky as blue. Today, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some Telegram channel somewhere claiming the sky was actually red and that the United States was engaged in a massive psy-op to convince us otherwise.

    It feels like, in the last four or five years, the rate of erosion of our shared understanding of reality has only accelerated. The Internet has served as fertile ground for a rotten crop of lies and conspiracy theories, egged on by corrupt politicians who recognize the manipulative power of such things.

    But deep down I think there’s something more fundamental going on: I think people find themselves frustrated and bewildered by a world we don’t understand, and so they’re looking for certainty and simplicity in an increasingly uncertain, complicated, and rapidly changing world.

    And into that confusion has come misinformation peddlers and conspiracy theorists who’ve learned how to weaponize the Internet, allowing them to exploit the vulnerable for personal gain.

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  • Blogging for the Holidays

    I’m off for the next 16 days (yay!) so I’m introducing an attempted holiday blog series! This is gonna be… something.

    Writing on a regular basis is something I really struggle with. As is true of so many of us, at the end of the day, after long hours of remote work under the cloud of pandemic-induce malaise, I just don’t have the energy or creativity to write very much. This is particularly frustrating because the past two years are a complete blur. A regular cadence of blog posts would have given me something to grab onto, and more importantly, something to look back to when I wondered, bleary-eyed and exhausted, at what the heck has been going on for the last 24 months.

    But 2021 has finally coming to an end! My vacation begins today (okay, fine, I’ll probably be doing a little bit of work, but hopefully not much) and, rather than just letting these next 16 days just slip by, I thought I’d try to mark the time by writing each day.

    Some of these posts might just be quick notes! Others might be long-form posts. I doubt any will be particularly long… though, honestly, who really knows.

    But what to write about?

    A few things spring to mind. First off, I want to do a little sub-series that I think I’m gonna call “Grappling With”. The pandemic in general, and the last year in particular, has forced folks around my age and younger1 to face concepts that we’ve been able to take for granted for at least a generation, and in some cases even longer, including:

    • Communicable diseases
    • Inflation
    • Supply chains
    • Risks and statistics
    • Political institutions
    • Information and misinformation
    • Labour relations
    • How we work

    You know, the little stuff.

    So I thought I’d write a post on each of these topics, laying out, as an individual, what I’m up against when facing these things that I’ve been able to ignore for so long.

    Now, that’s great, but it can’t be all serious stuff, so what else? Honestly, I don’t know! I’m hoping to do a bunch of reading, watching movies, and some coding amongst the various domestic chores I need to catch up on, so maybe a bit about those activities? Or a couple posts of photos from the year? Not sure yet!

    Of course, the most pressing question is: does this post count? I kinda think it does? But who knows. If I’m feeling motivated, maybe I’ll write a bit more today! It’s my vacation. I can do what I want!

    1. I turned 42 this year–yes, I am currently the answer!–which puts me write between the Gen X and Millenial categories. Now, speaking for myself, I’m far more likely to identify with my older Millenial friends than a typical Gen X-er, but in the end, I really believe we’re our own thing: Xennials