Functioning in a Post Truth World

Surviving in a Post Truth America, much less staying sane, is not going to be easy.   I’ve given this much thought over the past few weeks after the election and we see the new administration taking shape and I’ve come up with just a few ideas.

First, take nothing said by President Trump or anyone in his administration at face value.  Nothing they say will mean what you think they mean.  Like the Lewis Carrol character said “..The words mean exactly what I mean them to mean….”. For most of my childhood I had to live with someone who never told a lie, she always believed everything she said, but as often as not what she said did not match either the facts or reality.  Also she would often change what she said, diametrically, from one conversation to the next.  I learned to never take anything she said as ‘accurate’ until it was checked against the real world.  This is what I recommend we all do with the new Administration, trust nothing they say, but take no action until you have check what you have been told against observable facts.

When President Elect Trump says he is going to do something, stand still and do nothing until he actually does what he said he’d do.  Place it in what I call the “undefined state”. This is a concept from Logic where you have to deal with statements that you have not been able. To decide if a statement is either True or False.  We also have this problem to deal with in computer science where you can have a bit that is not set to either a positive or negative state.  Unfortunately we can not do what was done in computer science, which is to force the bit to a known state (usually Zero).

With most Presidental administration Americans give them the benefit of the doupt and assume that they mean what they say. That is, what they are saying is true.  Most Admenistration work fairly hard to actually to stay constant and really mean what they are saying.  Unfortunately the Trump administration is already shown it doesn’t really care one way or the other if Americans think he is tell the truth.  What seems to mater to the incoming Admenistration is what Americans think is true, right now, this moment.  An truth does not mean what are hard observable facts, but rather truth is what you believe is true.  This makes truth/falsehood a very unstable thing.

Fortunatly the actual real world is much simpler, and unforgiving.  In the real world a persons belief has little to do with what is.  When trying to decide what to do humans really do need to have a degree of trust in what we are being told.  This is what is going to be missing in the new Administration, Americans will not be able to trust what they are being told because we will not be able to tell if what is being said is either True or False.  We all can work with someone who always try’s to mean what they say.  You can, with a little more effort, work with someone who never means what they say.  But try working with someone who you have no way of judging the truth/falsehood of anything they say.  Try it, just for one day, go thru one whole day where you can not judge if anything you are being true or false.  When your alarm goes off and the clock tells you it is 7 am, but you go into kitchen and the clock there tells you it is now 7:30 am.  Now you go show & shave (if your a man) and come out to get dressed and the clock says it is now 6:35 am.  Now apply this to everything.  Even if you just limit it to people are telling you and know you will soon find it impossible to do your job.

So, what Americans are going to be doing very soon is waiting to see what the Administration actually does before we take any action.  I just can’t wait to see how the Stock Market reacts.