Motivational, Philosophy

Sunday Saying -Misinformation and Communication

In this regular Sunday post, I welcome discussion of traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within their succinct words.
Not only do they have an ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age, they may also impart knowledge; a knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us to interpret it how we see fit and how we pass it on.

Weekly Proverb

Caution minimizes loss

– Filipino proverb

Fake news has been systemic for several years now, and the pandemic has seen masses of digital misinformation, from conspiracy theories to suggestions that only old people are affected. Social media is one of the usual protoganists.

So it begs the question:

Will history books be the only truth-tellers of our time?

Weekly Quotes

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.”  

-Reuben Blades

The great enemy of communication… is the illusion of it.

— William H. Whyte
Where am I

Where do you get your information from and how is it communicated?

Do you know much about the people behind the company who conveys your news? Their agenda or background?

Who do you believe? And Why?

How do you verify your news is not fake news?


Linking this also to Debbie’s communication post

You are welcome to join in the discussion. All comments are welcome.

90 thoughts on “Sunday Saying -Misinformation and Communication”

  1. I love that Reuben Blades quote – how true is that?! I tend to source most of my news from the ABC. If I need to verify specific information about the current pandemic situation, I try and go directly to the relevant government department website. I’ve never been so happy to be off social media.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Mosy. I think Reuben’s quote is quite pertinent in the society we live in. I hear things in the community weeks after they initally appear on sub-reddits/social media. They are still doing the rounds when they get to my parent’s generation. And the oldies don’t believe you when you tell them they have been debunked weeks prior. But it was on the tele, they say like it is the next New Testament. ABC, SBS and The Guardian are useful sources in my house, although the ABC is dropping the ball at times. Have you watched some of the latter episodes of Q and A? Facebook’s time of relevancy has expired, perhaps?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m not at all sure about history books either. Mine at school were very British-Empire-centric with jolly fine British people saving the world, bringing the benefits of Civilisation and Christianity to those poor savages.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh I also remember the duplicitous history books of the sixties and seventies, and probably back to the 40’s. Thinly veiled conservative propaganda, it seemed. Perhaps we can only rely on them to give accuracy to dates and figures, Margaret?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, Amanda – not even that, quite often. Regardless of who it really was who said “History is written by the victors”, that statement is fact. You have only to read Josephine Tey’s “The Daughter of Time” to be convinced that many so-called “history books” were mere propaganda, following in the footsteps of The Bard,

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Is that so, M-R.? I guess everyone has some kind of bias in their writing. The very first printing press was made to spread a form of ‘acceptable’ propaganda, (religious), at the time, wasnt it? I have not thought of writing in this way before. If that is the case, can we ever really believe anything that is written, or perhaps it should be mandatory to read more widely, prior to making up our own minds knowing that the next person may form a totally different opinion from reading or hearing the same literature? This in effect, means consensus is a myth?

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Kurt Vonnegut building on Russell’s response to god not giving us enough information said of our generation

    All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.

    That is to say, we have so much information and are not any better off. Misinformation rules the airwaves

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is a fantastic point, you make, Makagutu. We do have access to oodles of information, in current times, yet it hasn’t improved the quality of life that it was mooted to do. It takes time, it seems to catch up with the anticpatory myth that things will be better, more clear and transparent when we all share information.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pretty much any news from social media is suspect and most often either false or very misleading. Most news that is seen (TV) tends towards sensationalism. The big problem with TV is that 90% of it is news analysis and not actually news reporting. I try to read all of my news. I try to stick to sources that have large resources for research and fact checking. If they give equal time to different points of views, that is better. Not many out there these days, and all of them are called “fake news” by people who have extreme biases or things to hide, such as certain presidents of large countries…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have noticed the repeated reference to fake news by your fearless leader. He has made that phrase commonplace.
      You are also correct, Trent when you ccommented on the lack of balanced news reporting anymore, just news analysis. Often by young people, heavily biased to one political persuasion. Sometimes I feel like yelling at the TV screen – I am not a mindless sheep, I can make up my own mind. Don’t tell me what my opinions should be. That’s when I turn the TV off. If it wasn’t for my husband, the TV would rarely be turned on on my house. It is a societal blight, spewing forth misinformation. I will get off my own soapbox now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I get most of my news in written form not in video form. This allows me to create distance from the topic while I attempt to analyze it. That being said, I do occasionally watch a politician or health care provider on video to see what they say unfiltered. I like CNN for reporting, but double check with NPR, ABC, or The Guardian.

    Are you familiar with AllSides? It’s a website wherein they’ll take a topic, link to articles about the topic, then tell you the editorial slant of the article. It’s a good way to compare & contrast the information &/or propaganda that you read.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. What I know is that the man who started it is politically conservative but wanted to see what else was being said about a topic. I like the fact that the website introduces me to a variety of sources that challenge me to consider different points of view.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey my Foresty Friend!!! Happy Sunday. This is such a great post. It’s been fun reading responses as well. I find the world very confusing, indeed. As for me; I get my info lots of places. It’s complicated because I can understand why people may argue very passionately and see things from a certain stance even though it may not ring true to me. I watch both ends of the news spectrum which can be comical because they spend as much time hating one another as they do talking about our life and times. I Listen to NPR. Talk with friends. Read blogs from around the world. At times ignore everything altogether. Watch the world and ultimately walk away with whatever resonates in my heart, which I am well aware may or may not be true. Someone told me years ago, “There is one person’s side of the story. There is the other person’s side of the story. Somewhere in the middle lives the truth.” No idea who came up with that, but it sounds brilliant to me. I hope Everyone’s having a GREAT weekend in spite of the madness. Stay safe, All! Thank You for this, Amanda!!! 🤗❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Forresty! What a wonderful response you wrote here.
      It is great to hear that you hear a wide input of opinions, as it is so important to keep an open mind. Even listening to views, diametrically opposed to our own, can yield useful information and learning about others.
      I find blogs the most interesting – grass roots information from the ground, as it happens or happened. Of course, each of those have bias too.
      Is it realistic or even possible to have a report that does not include bias. I remember being reprimanded at school for sitting on the fence in an English report. I gave each viewpoints fair air time in my write up- and was penalised by the teacher for not analysing and concluding one way or the other! Education therefore, frames and surreptitiously channels our views, doesn’t it? Think of the Chinese students are are adamant Tianamen square didn’t happen!
      Each message of communication we speak, gets interpreted by the receiver according to their own values, background, politico-socio views, mindset and influences! With all that going on, where is the truth? Somewhere in between as you say.
      I am not familiar with NPR? Is it a syndicated network on TV?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, Amanda! Isn’t that crazy about Your English report? Blows my mind. It never occurred to me that specifically, but we ARE conditioned to have opinions; all sorts of them. How funny. And kindof sad. What a really cool teaching opportunity Your teacher missed!

        I believe it about Chinese students not knowing about Tianamen Square. Lord. Here in the States some people don’t seem to understand our history. Our thorough, complete history. History books seem to leave out much. Crazy.

        My sweet boyfriend, just by the fact that he exists, has helped me greatly to look at both sides just because we are SOOOO very different. We have been together almost 8 years and get along great. He’s one of the kindest, funniest, most loving and honest people I’ve ever known. We are opposites politically and on a few other levels as well. Because I love him so and know his heart and goodness I don’t demonize people with different beliefs as much as I used to. 😅We all have an opinion and like You so wonderfully said:

        “Each message of communication we speak, gets interpreted by the receiver according to their own values, background, politico-socio views, mindset and influences!”

        There’s a fantastic sequence about that in ‘What the Bleep do We Know’. Every single word means something different to each of us as millions of neurons fire memory association for every word we hear. It’s amazing we are able to communicate at all!!! 😅

        NPR is National Public Radio here in the USA. Some corporations back them up but they are very greatly publicly funded and therefore pretty free to speak their minds. But they do tend to lean left. My boyfriend hates them. 😅I love them. Of course!!!

        I hope You have a wonderful week!!! It was really fun reading Your response! Thank You and Cheers!!! 🤗❤️😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nice to meet another left leaning radio listener! I think it is heartening to hear that despite your political differences, you and your boyfriend have managed to find a way to get along. Different political views can be very divisive socially!
          Thanks for the low down on NPR. I learnt something new today. It sounds like it can retain its impartiality if it only depends on donations. I think it is a bit like open source software in a way. The public contributes and everyone can access it for free. Yay for wordpress!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. History books tell as many lies about history as do the news media and social media. Most of us tell things as we see it, not as how it really is. I loved the quote by Reuben Blades. Where do I get my information. Some of the same places you do but my gut/instincts always tell me if they are embellishing the truth or slanting it. Anything from our White House is automatically false. He is doing what all dictators do and try to corrupt the real journalistic truth. I also go to my favorite spiritual advisers and get their take on things. It turns out to be very different than what news media thinks of things. I’m not talking religious groups here. These are mostly very well educated people with very open minds. Some may be a little hippy woo woo like me. 😉 My body tells me if it’s true or not. You can feel it there if you practice. Hang in there, Amanda. It’s a struggle to come out of the dark ages.

    Like

    1. Hey Miss Hippy Woo Woo! I had a chuckle at that! At the moment, it kind of feels like we are entering a new Dark Age! But we are more connected than then, and notwithstanding the misinformation, at least we are getting more information globally. We do have to vet it however, and a gut feeling is a good way of judging whether it sits right with you, or not. Because we sure as eggs, can’t fact check every opinion and view. Fact checking against whose ledger? The ledger might be biased in itself if history itself is biased. So if we can’t eliminate bias totally, we are therefore left to judge validity of a statement for ourselves. Therein journalists seem to overstep the mark. Present the facts, don’t analysis them. We used to have news reporting, now we have programs dedicated to analysing the news and presenting interpretations based on personal or network owners viewpoints….. which deliberately or not, try to influence the masses.
      Intuitive people like yourself, Marlene, have an added layer to determine accuracy or not. Did you feel that way when you were younger, too? Or did that sense develop as you got older in a gradual way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I first became aware of it at seven. It was like a light turning on and finally coming into myself. I understood and knew things that I had no way of actually understanding. It drove my last husband crazy because I would always end up making the right call against his wishes and he couldn’t understand how I did it. Neither could I but there you are. Just trust. I can tell a lie or the truth in a second. I knew my husband was going to be unfaithful before it happened. Scares the crud out of me sometimes but I pay close attention and have lots of patience. We all know. Most of don’t acknowledge it.

        Like

  8. In my early years of parochial school, the teachers taught us that Columbus discovered the world was round. And I’m sure that each country has a version of reasons/events regarding world wars, no matter if they won or lost such tragic events. And the Christian Bible– who were the earliest “editors”, and how much more “editing” has been done over the centuries.

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  9. In my early parochial school days, the teachers taught us that Columbus discovered that the world was round. And how do countries record the reasons/events which led up to and caused world wars, whether they were the victors or losers? Then there’s the Christian Bible– who were the first “editors” and how much “editing” has been done over the centuries? Have a wonderful day.
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with Mosy (rarely have I found the need to do otherwise !): the ABC’s actual news, as opposed to its opinions, is reliable. As is The Guardian’s – apart from being British at its heart, so that I find myself looking up an article with enthusiasm, only to find that it comes from Bristol. (In fact I give money to The Guardian when I can: it really is independent, and MUST BE kept going.)
    I don’t watch television any more, and haven’t done so for .. oh, something like a year ? Instead I watch iView on my laptop when there’s something like “Endeavour” going, or “Vera”, say. Whilst I agree entirely with H re the horror of social networking – in which I’ve never participated, deo gratias ! – one can often see a quote from Twitter included in a news item; but that has been selected by the item’s author as relevant, unlike 99.99% of that medium. Facebook never features: ’nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Insightful quotes and sadly true. We subscribe to four newspapers—one in print (The Canberra Times) and the online (The Saturday Paper, The Guardian and The New York Times). I like to think we are reasonably well informed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As you’ve avoided any Murdoch product, you would indeed be so ! 🙂 I get a spoken summary of TNYT on Audible – but then, I’m a listening person rather than a reading one.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. This reminded me of Stanley Milgram’s “Submission to authority”. In his famous experiments, he changed variables one at a time. One of them was a white coat. If the “instructor” wore a white coat, symbol of Authority, the “voltage” inflicted to subjects increased. In other words, a man in a white coat can make you inflict more pain to others…

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  13. Hi Forestwood, I appreciate your good info. Love the quote about being the best-informed society that has ever died of ignorance. So true. There is so much info out there that we can become overwhelmed by things that aren’t even real. We had an earthquake last Wednesday and right after the internet lit up with the news that another one was due in two hours. People panicked, but wait – there wasn’t a second earthquake. Someone had just started a rumor and it went viral. Be careful out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow – that is an excellent example of fake news and the way people are so trusting of it. I heard today that a company in a highrise was told one of the cleaning staff it had Corona, with the consequence that the building was closed and all 16 floors santised completely to Corona compliant levels. All employees tested, but it was a hoax. The concluding statement was that the employee who made the false statement was no longer with the company…..
      I hope no more earthquakes for you. It is the last thing you need. I have forgotten where you are based. Is it a known earthquake zone? Stay safe,
      Amanda

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  14. An interesting and a fun post, Amanda. A definite smile on the ‘best informed’ and ‘ignorant’ quote. Like everyone else, I am overwhelmed with the amount of information entering our space every day. I am trying to wean myself off the 24/7 news and allocate specific times and zero in on specific news sites. I am curious about Ally’s comment. I will investigate further. Thank you for a thought-provoking post and great conversation.

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  15. I don’t watch the news nor will I allow myself to be brow beaten in fear by its intention of pounding fear into you. I get my information “energetically”, my Inner Guidance, or from Mother Nature Herself. When the news is extremely important, I manage to be listening to my radio while driving, for example, and hear something I need to hear. Also, my husband who does watch the news, keeps me informed WHEN necessary. I’ve made my own little world in this crazy world and that is the way it’s going to stay. LOVED your quotes!

    Like

    1. Good for you, Amy Rose. Listening to a lot of social media does do one’ s head in and makes us fearful. I enjoy podcasts while I am driving, which topic, I can select or dismiss depending on my level of interest. Mother nature is a wonderful guide and seems to be doing its best to teach us a lesson atm. I hope we heed the warnings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My hope that people in general wake up from their stupor and see the truth in all this craziness. All any of us can do is listen carefully ourselves to the Guidance we are given and then live by example. (smile)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brandon. I am very glad you stumbled here! Which quote particularly grabbed your attention? And may I ask why? (I love a good discussion on interpretation of quotes).

      Like

  16. Gotta filter, but that’s a skill that isn’t clear how to teach nor obvious in its necessity to train.

    Interesting topic 🤔

    Thanks for sharing! 😄

    Like

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