April 8

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Charlatans, the Media

More on communication, belief, and truth: The connection between actuality and reality is assumed to be true by most people. The assumption of truth is really nothing but belief.
As I wrote earlier when talking of reality/actuality, we can never know what we see, yet we still believe in what we sense. We must believe in order to perpetuate our existence. It is faith that gives us the strength to believe in our reality.
The same concept of belief exists in communication. We often make many assumptions when we communicate. As listener, we assume that the story conveys the reality of the speaker. Even though the four blocks to communication exist, belief in communication holds. We believe in language’s ability to provide words, our abilities as listener, their ability as speaker, and the fact that nothing comes between us. Secondly, we assume that the reality being conveyed has a connection to actuality, it is not just a lie.

Charlatans: This sort profits off of belief. They hock untruth. The reality of a charlatan is divorced from actuality. Because of their ability to speak and make others listen, and most importantly, make them believe, charlatans live off the lies they create. We are all charlatans. The difference is of degree. Some of us wilfully hock an untruth, knowingly communicate a lie. Others do so unwittingly. They believe in their reality, a reality divorced from the actual, yet their strong belief justifies to them communication. Humans want to believe, belief gives order to chaos, and a charlatan just gives a listener what they want.

I wrote earlier that we create realities because we must survive. Must we create stories to survive? A good question, one for which I don’t know the answer. Perhaps in an earlier time when society was relatively fragmented, stories were not necessary. Now, in a world populated with 5 billion people linked in a myriad number of ways, one must communicate.

Where we are now: In simpler times, survival was more about the interplay between reality and actuality. With the massive build up of media - internet, phones, and TV, the world is becoming much more story driven. We don’t connect as much with actuality anymore – we deal much more in story. The number of layers covering over actuality is getting deeper and deeper – its harder than ever to pierce through to actuality and determine what is real, and reach conclusions about the effects of our actions.

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