Lately I was speculating on the role of B.S. in our economy, politics, and technology. I’d spell it out (and swear more probably) but I do have some discretion!
We’ve normalized the idea that some people are honestly, lying to us. We expect that we’re being lied to be marketing forces, by the latest trends, and by politicians. It’s honestly so normalized, it seems we can’t imagine a less deception-free world.
(It also makes me realize how people can get blaise about COVID.)
In turn, we’ve also normalized that people we like are lying. Yeah, that famous tech guy is hyping stuff, but we like his product. Sure the politician we voted for is spouting demented nonsense, but they’re our politician. We go to see a movie we know we’ve been sold on in the negative sense or a restaurant whos food is just “OK” but you know, advertising and familiarity.
What’s struck me lately, is that we are probably too used to lying as well.
When I’ve seen people rallying to the defense of people, media, and so on that they like you an hear them repeat talking points. You can tell with just a bit of empathy that many people don’t really or exactly believe what they say. But to defend what they like for whatever reason,
I even found myself tempted to do it (which tells me I do do it, I just didn’t catch myself).
I’m wondering how deep the B.S. in our media-saturated, pundit-heavy, social media culture goes by now. I mean yes humans have always lied to others and themselves, but it feels pretty amplified and survival-adverse in my experience. How much of our lives, as individuals, is just lying about stuff?
I think some of it is definitely internet and media culture. Say the right things, do the right things, and you get money, attention, and might even become some kind of Influencer or Pundit. You can lie for a living if you play your cards right! Whatever B.S. problems we had in the past, you can do it faster, giving less time for experience and other people to provide restraining feedback.
In a time of chaos and climate change, this is even more disturbing. We’ve got a lot of problems to solve, or at least survive, and if we’ve all internalized outright deception to an extent, it’s going to be much harder. When everyone is busy not telling the truth, it gets harder to tell the truth, and even when a bunch of people do, too many might not out of various motivations.
I know at least I’ll be watching myself closer. But this is going to haunt me.