The truth of post-truth

Post-Truth

Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary, publishes its ‘word of the year’. This is a word that has “become prominent or notable during that [year].”1 This year that word is ‘post-truth’.

Never-mind the irony that a dictionary – bastion of promoting the true meaning of words – is publishing the word; we have to take on board the sentiment that as a society we are ‘post-truth’. But what does that mean? Read More

‘Baa, I’m a Facebook user’

Something interesting is happening in the way people receive news. A step backwards to a time when newsboys would be standing on the street, and information would be passed by word of mouth from person to person with no ability to corroborate the story unless you were affected first hand.

Of course, back in 1900 this was acceptable we did not have the Internet with wonders such as Google, Wolfram Alpha and (ahem) Wikipedia to answer our every question. So with the recent controversy over “Kony2012” and other such ‘viral’ news pieces it did make me wonder what had happened to the common sense that people used to have.

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The worth of a degree

So for those of you who know me, and have spoken about the worth of a degree, you probably know where my opinion falls on the matter of higher education. I honestly believe that degrees have almost completely lost their worth. This is a matter that I’ve discussed with a lot of people. Those who went to, those at, those thinking of going and those who have not ever touched the university experience.

Let me give you some history. Back in 2007 I was in my final year of secondary school, applying to universities (six in my day) and hoping to get the grades. We had just had the tuition fee increase to £3000 (not a match on the £9000 today), but that was just the normal. Nobody really cared about the potential debt and everyone was going off to get the ‘university experience’.

So did my degree go wrong? Is that why I have my views?

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“We’d like our catalogue back”

On December 15th, 2011 the council of Spelthorne will cast their votes as to whether Staines, home of Ali G, will be renamed to Staines-on-Thames. The aim is to make the place sound more upmarket. This got me thinking about namings. Some of the poshest places in England are ‘double named’ (Chipping Campden, Gerrard’s Cross or Alderley Edge for example), but then some are not (Mayfair anyone?). Is there really that much power in a name?

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