Thursday, May 29, 2008


Who(m) Do We Trust?

We live in a world that has a flood of information. How do we decide which information is true? How do we sort out what is most reliable? Let's look at some handy tools and ideas that help to make sense of it all. Click here.

Essential Question: '"How do you know information is true?"

1 comment:

Ed Latham said...

by Ed Latham

Almost before I could understand speech from Mom and Dad, I was told information that helped form my learning about the world. Most of us had someone around at a very early age talking to us about things that are "good" or "bad" and helping us with judgments. I wish to bring up a thought that may be disturbing to some here so please be warned...

The Tooth Fairy
The Easter Bunny
The Boogie Man

We know the stories and we get those stories now in video, audio and text everywhere each holiday season.

Whom are these stories for? If we take the position that they are for kids, what is the purpose? I have heard one argument that it is to instill the concept of make believe , fantasy or wonder. Fred Rodgers was a master at introducing an entire world of make believe but that world or story is massively different from the Santa story. Santa was real for all kids because there was typically a product that "proved" his existence. Additionally, parents that we loved and were loving us, promoted the story with such excitement we often woke up way before the sun on Christmas morning in excitement (if we even went to bed). Later in life we were told, often by peers and not by our parents that the story was false or make-believe. Let's not beat around the's a lie. The story is nice and the physical proof is there and I have loved ones supporting it so it has to be true. Only, we find out it is not. What does that do the young psyche? I propose these stories are our first exposure to the art of lieing. Later in life we will have advertisements all over the place encouraging us to learn more about this art and perfect our skills in "slanting" the truth.

So by that reasoning, these stories must not be for the kids because I know of few people that would sign up to help contribute to such a fundamental psychological conditioning. That must mean the stories are for adults. More to the point, adults that either need to generate some emotional hope in their life or maybe the adults are involved in businesses that benefit greatly from the perpetuation of such stories (Boogie man and tooth fairy don't fit that last option well). We sell an imaginary man checking up on kids to make sure they are "in line" and kids get rewarded with gifts. We sell the loss of body parts can make you money in the way of our first set of teeth. We sell some rabbit figure running around hiding eggs during a holiday that has nothing to do with eggs or rabbits. What is the purpose? I still ask people and we have not been able to get past the feel good emotions adults have concerning these stories.

Jim, you posted questions about Whom we trust. Ask students in any school if they have lied to someone they know in the last month. You may be surprised at the results and of course those saying they never lie could be less than honest on that assessment if we start talking about "good lies" like, "What do you think of my new dress?" Before any technology, our society has been very familiar with the art of the lie in all it's levels. We start learning to deal with it at a very early age and adds coming on every 10 minutes now help to keep our guard up.

I love the links you have provided in that post Jim! I would love to hear some counter posts that justify our adult perversion to lie to our kids and help continue a culture where the lie is just another part of life like skinning a knee or getting sick.

Disclaimer: I am posting thoughts and not beliefs. I celebrate some of these stories I criticize but I often modify at times. I am very interested in the logic of this argument and understand the emotion. The logic still has much that I have not worked through. I appreciate any help others can contribute to the conversation.