Mar 3, 2018
In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is talking
to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky of the Pro-Truth Pledge about the
battle for honest discourse. This is an important consideration.
During a speech at the White House in January 2017, Donald Trump’s
Press Secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, famously said: “This
was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,
both in person and around the globe.” This statement has been
endlessly mocked, but, in more serious terms, it has come to
represent, as stated shortly afterwards without irony by Trump
advisor, Kellyanne Conway, as not being a lie, but an entirely
different version of the truth. Spicer, explained Conway, was not
being dishonest, but was dealing in “alternative facts”.
Comparisons to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four were
manifestly obvious and, indeed, were deeply indicative of a very
real problem. What is the answer to alternative facts? Utilising
research in behavioral science, Dr. Tsipursky is leading a team
effort to address post-truth politics, fake news, and those
unscrupulous alternative facts. Dr. Tsipursky is asking people, be
they members of congress or members of the public, to sign the
Pro-Truth Pledge as a commitment to deal in only one type
of fact, and not the alternative variety. Dr. Tsipursky explains
the motivation behind this movement, and outlines his hopes for a
more honest arena of public discourse. Why are humans so easily
misled? What can be done about fake news? Is it possible that
Donald Trump would sign such a pledge? How has social media been
manipulated to spread misinformation, and can this be prevented?
These questions, including a fascinating look at why humans are,
from an evolutionary standpoint, poorly equipped to deal with the
modern age, are featured in this episode.
For more information on the Pro-Truth Pledge, or to sign the pledge, head to https://www.protruthpledge.org/take-the-pro-truth-pledge/
Expanded show notes are available at https://theaidanproject.org/