RenaissanceRules looked into “True Tales of the Legendary Past” in the last post. You are invited to link to and read that post at http://wp.me/pVUDj-7E . Now, a look into a corollary, or even inverse, phenomena, “Legendary Tales of the True Past”.
As those tiresome product image repackaging and rebranding campaigns pronounce…
“But wait, there’s more”!
The intentionally selective re-writing, mis-teaching, mis-interpretation, mis-translation and mis-application of history, science, religion, culture and literature have a collateral effect, dissemination of “Legendary Tales of the True Past”. For “leaders”, “thinkers” and “academicians”, such action is either conscious falsifying for the purpose of propagandizing a selected agenda, or the inevitable result of poor scholarship and even more incompetent teaching and communications.
“Enhancing” The Truth
One aspect of this fictionalization that has been filtered down to the personal level in business and academia is “resume enhancement”. Plainly stated, that is the nuanced or massive lying about past education and experience that apparantly a large portion of the population employs when upgrading their resumes in the hope of becoming one of this age’s “experts” or “leaders”. This degredation of truth and ethics is so pervasive that honest, even awesome, truthful recountings of education, accomplishments and honors are seen as the most suspect representations of all.
Can there be any doubt that the practitioners of this self-serving dishonesty are sorely tempted to bend the truth in the work that they are hired to perform?
“New and Improved”
In today’s “create a new product or service to succeed” society, the tweaking, exaggeration, obscuring or just plain replacement of facts with invention, with fiction that produces outrages against truth and reason is encouraged by some and often rewarded by the marketplace compulsion to have the newest and brightest of anything.
At the entry level of this “art”, redefinition of terms for rebranding goes far beyond product names or synonyms to promote a regurgitated version of something that already exists so that it can be called “new and improved” or “better than” that.
Successful “redefinitions”, “rebranding” and creation of new jargon soon produce a viral and then permanent change in the meaning of altered terms. The mutations effectively muddy, confuse and “compel” reinterpretation of the historic uses of the terms and everything that surrounds them in the message, product, art and lives of those who actually produced them. Where the historic originators utilized similar methodologies, the truth soon becomes exponentially removed from current thought and use.
What Really Happened
The “higher” level, the current stratosphere of “new think”, imposes an even more insidious layer of misdirection. Yes, utilization of modern tools, research, careful investigation of evidence from the past, and real “peer review” are all essential to improvement of our comprehension.
However, the “historical critical” approach to study of the past, begun in the study of literature, has pervaded “new expertise” for a hundred years. Instead of suffering through the heavy lifting required to make new discoveries, test new hypotheses or generate new ideas, the ambitious can gain fame and fortune by presenting a “new interpretation” of past people, places, things and events.
Higher critical analysts claim (without evidence, of course) that mankind’s evolving intelligence (always upward, you know, if you agree with them…otherwise you must be demonstrating a lack of that intelligence), ever-broadening access to previously inaccessible “data”, and closely held new tools produce miraculous results never before obtained, all giving them the unique ability to tell the rest of us how people really lived and thought and how things really were in the past.
Some proclaim better knowledge of the languages of the past and their usage in specific instances than then-living witnesses on the ground. Any truly remarkable observations and records from the past that do not fit their hypotheses can then be recast as “applicable only to those people in that time and in that place, and of course based upon the peoples’ biased agenda at the time which we can unravel today” rather than welcomed as valuable input to obtain better comprehension.
This deconstruction and reinvention is often accompanied by rhetorical escalation and ad hominem attacks toward those who want a simple explanation of how “a” became “b”.
You wouldn’t want the testimony and artifacts from the past, or any questioning at all, to upset the pre-determined results of your “research”, would you?
After all, you ARE being watched! Your future plans are at risk! You risk being found out if you cannot destroy the opposition. The best defense is a good offense.
The Illusion of Knowledge
In this age of virtual and instataneous electronic media access to millions of websites, search engines, and other researchers, stringent “fact checking” seems to have all but disappeared from sectors of society from government and academia to commerce, culture and religion, that have historically been relied upon for accurate information.
The statements, illustrations – even videos – that appear on a computer screen, whether self-published or from a “reliable source”, a searchable data base or a living human being, are taken as proven truth and reality by many people and telegraphed around the world, despite all of the verified instances of intentionally deceitful attacks on people and history through manipulation of sites, particularly of those that can be “edited” by the public. The circular logic “daisy chains” of linked “experts” further compound the opportunities for error.
Reading Your Mind
The latest (or renewal of previous) iteration of this approach analyses and reinterprets not only what past observers reported that they saw, said, heard, meant or discovered, but what you really saw, said, heard, meant or discovered right now! “Talking Heads” on television pracitice this art nightly while you watch, often when you have just heard or seen the raw material and clearly note a far different understanding. Professional psychologists, sociologists, analysts and linguistic experts must be rather upset about being usurped and fees lost to the spirits of this modern crystal ball.
Proponents of this “science” were not formerly exalted as the new intelligensia, but were known as experts in the use of an “art form” that we will look at in more detail when we next address the subject of “truth”, their art of …
Smoke and Mirrors!