How To… Know What You Know

How can you possibly know what to trust any more? we’re deluged with fake news from dubious sources and assertions presented with an almost gratuitous lack of fact checking. Armed as we are with our manifest prejudices and readiness to sign on to scraps of information that square with our well established confirmation bias, it can be difficult to shift any of us from our entrenched opinions.

This isn’t just with regards to politics and the difficult decisions we’re about to make but I won’t lie and say this isn’t at the very top of my mind. I was glad to learn that Tim Farron isn’t as homophobic as we might have leapt to assuming (this isn’t down to any carefully crafted statements, it’s his voting record on matters such as equal marriage that stands him in good stead on this issue). It doesn’t make him a good potential leader of the country but it’s a relief to realise that my leftist principles wouldn’t necessarily be compromised by a vote for his party.

The only way to know what you know is to root out the hard evidence from unbiased sources and to find other ways to ensure that what you know isn’t unduly influenced by what you hope is true. I hope in my heart of hearts that enough people in this country are forward thinking enough to want to find a way to mitigate the effects of a relentlessly hard Brexit but I know that’s almost definitely not enough to keep the Tories out of government.

I know that there’s a vicious media campaign out there against Jeremy Corbyn, I also know that he’s been doing a woeful job as leader of the opposition by rolling over and letting the government do almost anything they want (it’s a bit more complicated than that I do also know but that doesn’t make me any happier about it). I know that it can be a good thing for feminism to have a female leader but I also know that Theresa May’s voting record on a whole variety of issues affecting minorities and the poor reflects appallingly on her. I know it’s going to be a difficult thing to make my mind up.

Know what you know – Two Door Cinema Club

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