Posted by: HAT | July 22, 2010

Facts, Truth, Research

Former USDA official Shirley Sherrod

Checking facts before making an irrevocable decision is a good habit to cultivate

I’m as postmodern as the next woman. Texts can’t be closed, conclusions can’t be definitive, etc. etc.

But I’m partial to facts anyway. I know “The key is on the dresser” is less plain and simple than it sounds. Which key, which dresser, which century? But on some particular morning when getting ready to go to work, it works pretty well for finding the key despite its theoretical polysemy. Functionality isn’t everything, but it’s not nothing.

Postmodernism hasn’t obliterated the difference between telling a lie and telling the truth. It has made it more difficult to give a coherent, consistent philosophical account of that difference. But the difference is not merely imaginary, and it matters.

Believing in facts has some value. It motivates a person to check them. Checking on the facts (research) can sometimes keep a person from making a really stupid mistake. Like trusting someone who hates people like you, has told lies before, and who would be delighted to see you get into trouble.

Like my dad said more than once: You can’t believe everything you see on TV.

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Responses

  1. Just looked up Shirly Sherrod and the video-tape debacle. Jees – it’s nice that the NAACP had so much solidarity with Sherrod…… (*heavy irony*). You might expect the Obama machine to immediately and thoughtlessly clamp down, but… what a double betrayal. Only proving Sherrod’s story right, in that the important thing is develop class solidarity at an individual level, because the big bureaucracies and the elites care for nothing but their own self-perpetuation.

  2. oh, one more thing – these might interest you:

    Zizek:

    David Harvey:

    Best,
    Wit

  3. BRILLIANT! And thanks very much for the introduction to RSAnimate!

  4. 😀 I’m glad you liked them! They are pretty damn cool, it has to be said 😀

    Wit


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