Philosophy of Truth

The search for truth is endless, totally time-consuming, and
in  most  cases hopeless.   Writing this in 1989,  in the era  of
knowledge explosion,  with computer databanks filled with  facts,
dozens  of top quality daily newspapers,  weekly news  magazines,
monthly magazines of analysis,  cable television channels devoted
to live coverage, the scholar of any subject learns that he knows
less and less about more and more.

Granted,  over  broad  expanses of time,  like  decades  and
centuries,  truth  begins  to emerge.   Since 1600 we  no  longer
believe  that the earth is flat,  nor that it is supported on the
backs of elephants.

But in the day-to-day, year-to-year happenings that over our
lives,  the  details are observed or non-existent,  too often  on
purpose  by the personal biases of our  reporters/writers  and/or
those they work for in the media and publishing world.

This  can  be  demonstrated to one’s own satisfaction  by  a
simple  experiment.   Personally  attend a  reasonably  important
public  affair,   and  then  document  the   radio,   television,
Associated Press,  United Press International, Reuter’s, New York
Times, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, USA Today,
Newsweek,  Time, U.S. News, etc. coverage.  Your first impression
will  be  that  you  and  the  reporters  attended  two  entirely
different functions.   Upon analysis, you will find that each has
colored  their  reportage to reflect their  editorial/publisher’s
ideology and interest.  Inconvenient facts are omitted altogether
from each account, and yet even the sum of all is wanting.

A simple example of this is in the New York Times  reportage
of  Yasir  Arafat’s remarks in Riyadh on New  Year’s  Day,  1989.
January 19th–19 days later–they reported three versions of what
he  is supposed to have said;  from Kuwait,  from the U.S.  State
Department, and from Arafat.

The first report published in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al  Anba
Jan. 3rd, “paraphrased” what he said as follows:

“Nobody  can  stop the uprising,  and  any  Palestinian
leader  who calls for stopping it will expose himself to
our people’s bullets.”

The second report, made by Arafat Jan. 17th in Helsinki, and
quoted by AP is :

“I said if I tried to stop the intifada,  the small  boy
who is standing beside me would shoot me.”

Lastly,  the third report,  from the U.S.  Embassy in Riyadh
purportedly  based  on a tape recording of his  speech–but  only
received  by  them  from an unreported source “in  the  last  few
days,” i.e. 16 days after he spole, states that he said:

“Whoever  thinks  of  stopping the  intifada  before  it
achieves  its goals,  I will give him 10 bullets in  the
chest.”

And so it will go on for years,  with nobody certain of what
he actually did say.

Words  in the English language undergo changing  definitions
as  the  years  go  by,   and  are  often  defined  in  the  best
dictionaries in a self-serving manner, or to neglect contemporary
standards.

Regarding  journalism,  which is the medium through which we
derive  our  current facts,  the 1949  Webster’s  New  Collegiate
Dictionary,  says “The  business  of managing,  editing, or writing
for journals.”

By  1981,  journalism in the same dictionary has evolved  to
“the  collection and editing of material of current interest  for
presentation through news media.”

No  mention is made of “the business of managing,” which  we
are saying is the true state of affairs of journalism today.

As for histories, the West applauds “revisionism” for Soviet
Russia, Japan and Germany as they revise their version of history
to approximate the West’s account of their history,  but the West
continues  with  its orthodoxy,  such as was  canonized  Columbia
University  historians  in  1915,  and many major  questions  and
subjects remaqin clouded or unexplained.

What ws the real reason for World War I?   Why did the  U.S.
enter World War I?

In World War II,  if Germany and Russia both invaded Poland,
why did England and France only declare war on Germany?

The  purpose of this book is not to advance pet theories  or
pat answers.  It is on effort to accurately describe one person’s
observation  and  evaluations of the world and its affairs as  it
existed during his lifetime.

To  the end that contemporary readers may benefit  and  help
mankind’s  advance  towards  a better,  peaceful  and  more  just
civilization.

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