We are complex individuals. However, we often like to define ourselves e.g. introvert/extrovert, team player, free thinker, facilitator, natural leader, etc.
One of the words I use when asked to describe myself is mythbuster. It covers a multitude of sins, since I have always hungered for knowledge and I believe that knowledge is power: it does empower you against liars and those who would twist the truth for their own ends. I suppose for me it is how I came to know Jesus as a teenager; I sought the truth, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and those who seek God will find him (Prov. 8:17). For me, all truth is God’s truth, and I strive to not live in fear, but by faith, therefore nothing that is true holds fear for me.
So I always find myself challenging people when they make assertions. Sometimes it’s just playing Devil’s Advocate, but usually I just want to see how they’ve come to their conclusion, or if they’ve reasoned it out at all – this is when I find myself almost incapable of letting go; I have found a myth, I REALLY want to bust it to pieces! How do I go about mythbusting? Actually, in the 21st century, the task is SO simple, it is mind-boggling to me how very few do it. The internet is an amazing ground-breaking revolution in access to knowledge, even though we know a lot of stuff on it is untrue. Recently, I have come across a number of ‘facts’ (or factoids to be more accurate without the inverted commas) on social media that have turned out to be spurious, made up, or twisted to present an inaccurate picture; some harmless little hoaxes, some politically-motivated troublemaking jibes! All I need to do is spend a few minutes (NO! – seconds, literally) on a search to find the source, a debunking, or often, nothing at all, and can conclude, extremely quickly, that what I have just read is either substantiated by many witnesses, or is a load of baloney, or (sadly, too often) it can be found from one source and it looks like news, but a critical evaluation of it turns up little keywords like ‘allegedly’ – and it emerges that no other source is corroborating the story.
By this method, one is able to deduce the more reliable news agencies – if only one is presenting something, or a particular slant on it, and does this repeatedly, it goes down in my estimation. I shall not name names – read them yourself to get the gist of their ‘agenda’ for most these days usually have one. Despite what I say about the state of journalism these days, REAL news is repeated across many places.
Google is now a verb, you can do it for yourself!
Mind you, currently I don’t Google, I Yahoo, even though I prefer Google. It’s my protest at Google’s involvement in the attempt to break up the internet into tiers for the rich and poor: http://www.theweek.co.uk/technology/12673/google-and-verizon-near-net-neutrality-deal (yes, I’m probably the only person boycotting them, but I can do no less!)
When doing my Linguistics degree, we looked at political language. We often say politicians are all liars. Technically, that’s not true; a politician caught lying can say good-bye to their career. Instead, they present half-truths, twisted truth, and misdirection, knowing full well that they are directing your thinking down a certain path. Once you call them out on something, they’ll reply “we never said that!”
I’ll finish with just one pertinent example. UKIP stated that on the 1st January this year, we would open the doors to all the Bulgarians and Romanians to emigrate here. They stated this would “allow 29 million” to come here. The number of Romanians here actually went down by 4000 since January, but go on, call them on it… they only said ‘allow’ – they may as well have said that currently we ‘allow’ 500 million Europeans to come here but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it? They’ll also never tell you that more Britons now live in the rest of the EU than EU nationals who live here!
We all know what they were trying to make us think. I didn’t think it.
Grace be with you.