Thursday, March 24, 2005
what is the truth?
I ponder this as I begin to place articles upon my "news" new weblog
"deep in the paper".
"Near the back of the newspaper are articles that often tell the REAL news!
The Good Stuff is often not on page 1. Or even on page 2!
Often it is found on page 20, or on a Mural. Or in a random book left on a library table. Even in a "top 40 songhit"! Perhaps in a religious Tract: but not in its *overt* message! Even in your dreams!"
what is the truth?!
here is an example.
One day I was walking along park Avenue, here in Tallahassee, and at the old 200 year old southern mansion, built by Founding townspeople, I stopped to talk to a carpenter who was working to restore some of the fretwork on the outside of this house.
He was a MASTER CARPENTER, I could tell, not only by how he talked, but by the very nature of his job: restoring old houses. He told me of how particular he was, how though he was, in getting every single tiny wood detail just right. He also told of how he had to more or less work alone as he could not find decent help. He told how lazy most hired hands were, how "not caring" they were.
A week or so later, I met one young man who was a young construction worker and he told about how he tried to work, once, for this man! "tried" as he soon found that this master carpenter was a "slave driver", very picky and just
rode the horses with spurs dug deep"!
who was telling the truth?
which reality is the right one?
to me, BOTH are right!
Aha! The "gotcha" is that each person describes his position as being the only True position. To listen to just one person is to hear what sounds like "truth", there is no way to tell unless you hear the "other side" to sense that there might be a different slant to reality!
a reporter stops at a house fire and he has only time to interview one witness. The house on one side is owned by a black. The house on the other side is owned by a India Indian. The house across the street is owned by a German man.
He chooses. He is BIASED! Each person that he talks to, will give a slight different slant to the fire happenings! No matter who he chooses, the reporter will only get a slanted view, and this view will be the one that you will read about, form your opinion about!! There is nothing that this reporter can do, to alter this inescapable fact of bias.
yet another example.
the AP wire feed gave an article about the percentage of racial proportions
of the Army in Iraq during the first 1991 war. This article was an interesting read, in the nyTimes, describing how the blacks had a far higher percentage of
people in the army, compared to whites and other races.
later I read, in another paper, how a columnist wrote about this Feed article, but he placed a very severe criticism on the Army as he saw this higher proportion of blacks, to be a CERTAIN proof that the army is racist!
[the times article had no trace of this]
[I eventually showed a doctor's candidate grad student both papers, sitting side by side, in the library. Tic made her day, blew off her hat, so to speak: here was the same information but written up in utterly different ways!!]
moral: every good thing has a bit of evil in it, and every hell world has a bit of heaven in it! Tic the nature of reality! Thus each and every 'bad thing" has some goodness within it. But oh so SO easy just to take one side!
I can write of carpenters and hired hands, but if one takes a "loaded issue" like of the Schivao tube feeding case, the objectivity goes by the board! Is the husband good? Or bad?
should she be left alive? Or allowed to die? "killed"...Someone might say!