More Important Than Truth: Consistency of Narrative

More Important Than Truth: Consistency of Narrative

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They say that you shouldn’t watch how they make the sausage. Today I’m going to help you watch narrative-building in real time. Observe below:

Why does this matter?

In effect, we are being taught to take as reality whatever “feels” correct to us. What “feels” correct is often what we encounter the most. It is often based on the stories that are permitted and disseminated by gatekeepers of information. It is often shaped by the storytelling and narrative-building that we encounter.

Hannah Arendt, who survived the Nazis and later the Communists, wrote of such narrative-building,

They do not believe in anything visible, in the reality of their own experience; they do not trust their eyes and ears but only their imaginations, which may be caught by anything that is at once universal and consistent with itself. What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.

This consistency is something of a parlor trick that can be explained in terms of logic and reasoning. Logic is the fundamental rules that we apply to reasoning to “reason from A to B.” It’s the fundamental parameters that we apply to working through a problem. But if our logic is flawed, our reasoning will never bring us to the correct answer, no matter how good the reasoning seems. Simply put, reasoning is a system and logic is the rules applied to that system. Flawed logic means that the answer is never right, even if the reasoning is 100% (internally) consistent. Basically, it’s possible to have something make perfect sense but be totally wrong.

By not questioning the veracity of the information we’re being fed, what we end up with is a narrative that makes sense, but is not at all grounded in reality.

No man is more the slave than he who falsely believes himself to be free.

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