We are fast approaching a fairly significant inflection point in our civilization’s history, and, we certainly aren’t arriving on cautious footing. Instead, it appears as though we are stumbling clumsily toward a post-truth world in which lies are simply in the eye of the beholder.
The idea that the truth can be subjective is a terrifying byproduct of giving airtime to conspiracy theorists, with a poignant example coming to us from the parts of the internet where they believe 9/11 was an inside job.
You see, you can have two scientists with identical backgrounds, education, accreditation, and standing tell you two entirely different things about what exactly happened to the Twin Towers. One will say that the “pancake theory” of the towers’ collapse is perfectly within the realm of science, and another will look you in the eye chillingly and tell you that there is no possibility that the implosion wasn’t a controlled demolition.
Suddenly, the truth of what happened on that fateful day has split in two, thanks to two individuals who provide the same overall academic value to the discussion. The same is true for students of the Zapruder film or the moon landing.
And if this is a scary thought, it’s time to buckle up, because we’re about to be thrust into a world of impossibly-realistic “deepfakes” that, thanks to social media, will be weaponized and dropped like napalm on unsuspecting Twitter users.
For instance, the latest video of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, apologizing for letting the Kremlin rig the US elections.
The sort of chaos that these deepfakes could sow, particularly among demographics with lower levels of digital literacy, are immense, and a terrifying reality of living in a post-truth world.
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