Making sense in Truth overload

When watching documentaries or the news on television, people can only sense the truth through the filter of their own experience, argues MacFadyen. Also he himself uses his experience as a tool for processing the overload of information we are confronted with today.

Part of that experience is the history people know, this also provides a context for understanding what you see. Experience gives people a sense of what is possible or not. Things and people that are not part of your own world are hard to understand. To get a sense that something is probably true, emotions are very important. “If somebody bursts into teas because their kid has been killed you' re probably going believe them. If somebody is shrieking in anger because something happened, if there is a huge emotional ingredient in what they say, you'll probably be much more inclined to believe them. If a poor person, standing outside a factory says something about the way he or she was treated in the factory then I'm inclined to probably believe them. I don't think I've ever met any set-ups like that. But if a smooth employer is his PR office told me that there is no truth in what I have just heard I probably won't believe him.”

Today there is so much evidence in the media that nobody pays attention to it, states MacFadyen
There is on the Internet everyday so much material that it is impossible to process it any more. “So what's the truth? That I'm not reading it any more? Or that I am misrepresenting it, because I can't remember it all? A superficial grasp of an immediate event is certainly possible faster now then ever before. The indiscriminate recall of fast amounts of data becomes counterproductive. It takes so much energy to sift through it, to try to provide yourself with the analytic tools to judge that material that you are looking at. Is it relevant? Is it important? Does it have some connection to what I'm doing? Can I use it? Or is it difficult to use because it may not be true, or is it historically incorrect? You've got to ask yourself a lot of questions with everything you read, you can't do that when you are reading fifty-thousand pieces every hour of stuff that's pouring onto your screen. So you have to be selective. You need to find ways to become an editor of all that material, because there is so much of it.”

Fundamentally, MacFadyen’s experience is valuable in dealing with this overload of material. “Experience is the tool through which one can filter a lot of that stuff. What you know, comes from what you've read, what you have understood, what you've seen before. That experience is the means through which you can judge new material.” It is necessary to keep up the effort to make sense of what is happening, according to MacFadyen. Investigation, as opposed to mainstream journalism, is not a passive act. To expose injustice is to suppose injustice can be stopped. To understand these unjust events, not to cry, not to laugh, but to understand them.”