We are facing a crisis of epistemology in today's world. How we know things? How we distinguish between true beliefs and delusions, facts and fiction? What can be trusted? There are many angles we could explore in this crisis of epistemology. Here are just five.
I believe in journalism. I'm thankful for its truth-telling, spot-lighting potential (see last year's Oscar-winning film Spotlight, for example). But I sometimes fear for its future. As the media landscape continues to morph, what role can real journalism play? Donald Trump becoming president is certainly huge "news," but it's a headline that signals something foreboding rather than electrifying about the state of the news industry. Here's my attempt to make sense of how we got here. 1960s:
We need more journalistic reporting like "Spotlight," Tom McCarthy’s excellent film about the Boston Globe’s groundbreaking 2002 coverage of systemic clergy sex abuse and cover-ups within the Catholic Church. We need it because humans are very prone to doing bad things and really, really good at covering up those bad things. Someone needs to shine the spotlight on darkness, even if it means implicating ourselves too.
In Relevant magazine this month, there is a fascinating 14 page article ("Bringing 2020 Into Focus") in which experts weigh in on what to expect in the coming decade, in areas like the environment, social justice, politics, culture, faith and science. As the "expert" in the cultural arena, I was commissioned to forecast the trends and changes I think will be most significant in the next 10 years. To read the whole spread, click here. But below I've excerpted a few sentences from the 4 trends I highlight.