How do I know they are right?

Two weeks ago, we asked the question, “How do I know that I’m right?” inspired by Ray Dalio’s book Principles. It seemed right to therefore turn that question around. We’ve touched on a subject similar to this before, but today we want to go deeper. Just a word of advice, get yourself a strong cup of coffee for this one – it’s going to be quite a deep one.


Our topic of discussion today is informed by some lines from a blog from Seth Godin, and here he’s talking about news and he says, 

“I don’t think we have any clue about how disruptive this shift is going to be. Like all shifts, there will be a counter-shift. But keep your eyes open, because the rules are clearly changing. Remaining trusted and consistent will become ever more valuable as it becomes more scarce. A resolution to be in higher-resolution for those you seek to serve. In the meantime, it’s worth confirming the source before you believe what you see.”

We definitely want to know that the sources we pull our “truth” from is right. It’s precarious though because since time began it would seem that humans have used propaganda to get others to take on their point of view. Sometimes it’s to make a short-term profit and sometimes it’s to hide from accountability. So we must err on caution. It’s great to be alive today and have information so readily at hand but it’s important we then ask “Are they right?

We receive so much more influence than we know. There are many sources of this influence but here are three big ones:

A challenge in today’s world is that the buffet table is abundant. If information was food, there’s a chance that we’re all over eating, but never having enough of one thing to actually become knowledgeable and really appreciate its flavors.

A couple years ago, Professor Yuval Noah Harari published a book called 21 Lessons for The 21st Century. The book is exceptionally well written and challenging.  In chapter 4 he makes a statement which is potentially so powerful, but so scary; Harari addresses his opinion of truth and puts it simply, “Truth today is defined by the top results in Google search.” Get into the top results and you can say almost anything and it will be read, and probably believed by many.

Imagine looking at a lake that appears vast and wide, seeming to declare a great abundance and depth.

 You think to yourself, how difficult it would be to swim from the one shore to the other shore, this lake is surely too deep and wide! When you get into the water however, you discover that although the lake is vast, it is only ankle deep the whole way across. No swimming is going to take place her. Only waddling

That’s the dilemma we might face with our world of information. So much data, that is never goes beyond ankle deep, where at the surface the data looks credible, popular, wise and yet underneath it there is no substance. And yet, for those who are prepared to zoom in, uncover, search beyond the google top ten search list, we might find priceless wealth.

That’s the dilemma we could find ourselves in with this world of information. There is so much data out there that at the surface looks credible, popular and wise but underneath it there is no substance – it’s only ankle deep. And yet, for those who are prepared to zoom in, uncover, search beyond the Google top ten search list, we might find priceless wealth

So here's some questions you could ask before taking something as truth:

Now we cannot test all information, but when it matters, do some work. It tends to matter when

Become curious, become comfortable with tension and your discomfort. Become intimate with it. So, as we have said, we can’t question everything, but as per Seth Godin, may we not be ignorant 21st century dwellers. We need to be people of increasing consciousness, where we don’t simply accept, but where we use our modern conveniences and incredible tools to zoom in, and see what there is to see, not because somebody told you, but because you are empowered to be curious and to discover.

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