A post-fact era?

We buy products that we know don’t really work, but support a narrative about a hoped for self.

We select the fancier–and much more expensive–version of something in a vain (no pun intended) attempt to chase image over substance.

We pursue the latest bright and shiny object with no supporting data and little valid analysis because that’s where the crowd is moving and we want to appear relevant (or cool).

We tell stories about others that have little or no basis in reality out of fear, anger or desperation. And sometimes a frightening mix of all three.

We support candidates who tout demonstrably untrue accounts because they tap into deeply rooted frustration or our need to get even. Victim becomes persecutor.

Yes, we buy the story before we buy the product.

Of course, emotion often trumps purely rational thinking.

And it clearly would be wrong to say intuition never matters.

But are we really entering a post-fact era? Can we possibly be okay with that?

Facts may not do what we want them to, but we ignore them at our own–and society’s–peril.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is to call “BS”.

The best place to start is with ourselves.

And the best time to do it is right now.

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This post has been updated from a version that originally appeared at http://www.stevenpdennis.com

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