In the era of Donald Trump and Brexit, Oxford Dictionaries has declared “post-truth” to be its international word of the year.
Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, editors said that use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000% in 2016 compared to last year. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”.
For someone who was brought up on the premise that you should never tell a lie, and the truth will out, it is a hard lesson to learn that there is even such a concept as post truth. Should we now be questioning every fact or piece of information we are fed, particularly by politicians and policy makers?
I understand that there are acceptable forms of misinformation usually known as white lies, but these are normally implemented to save someone’s feelings. But to deliberately tell lies to further a cause or project has always, in my book, been wrong. Dishonesty, cheating, mis-truths, deceit, falsehood; we have many ways of describing lies, all of which are corrupt, but somehow, we seem to be on the verge of accepting untruths.
Three parent babies
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) decision to permit the licencing of fertility treatment involving genetic information from three people, has sparked a renewed debate about who should be recognised as the parents of a child.
The historic and controversial move is to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases.
Some families have lost multiple children to incurable mitochondrial diseases, which can leave people with insufficient energy to keep their heart beating.
The diseases are passed down from only the mother so a technique using a donor egg as well as the mother’s egg and father’s sperm has been developed.
This is obviously good news for couples who want to have a healthy baby but it opens up a frighten possibility of designer babies and human genetic engineering.
I’d love to know what you think.
According to statistics released at the end of last year, the search engine Google has published a list of its ten most asked questions. At number 10 is “how do I accept myself for who I am?”
It seems that despite all the advantages of modern technology, young people particularly, have very low self-esteem, possibly because of seeing the wonderful time everyone else is having on social media.
Life is often difficult and a little existentialism can be helpful, but what happened to the old adage ‘count your blessings’? If we were all to focus on what we have and not what we want, we would all be more content.
The times they are a changing
Bob Dylan was the surprise winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Many were astonished at the award including, it appears, Mr Zimmerman himself, as he was unable to attend the ceremony.
Released in 1964 the song could become an anthem for 2017 with so many uncertainties in the world. Another contender could be Changes by the late David Bowie. Do you have a song suggestion for the coming year?