The Virtual Truth



Who needs to think when your pre-ordained prejudice has been catered for?

Dan Boyle writes:

Last weekend I was thinking of starting a hashtag #KillUsAllNow, but thought the better of it. Not because it was an idea I didn’t want to convey, but my too long presence on web platforms has taught me that it would be selectively interpreted.

In the web world of opinion, where the polar opposites of hyper sensitivity and mega insensitivity seem to hold greatest sway, the expressing of a view is rarely understood, or taken, the way the opinion holder believes it to be.

It’s as if an updated Humpty Dumpty from Alice Through The Looking Glass has decided that it is context, not words, that means what he wants it to mean.

For many internet warriors content is incidental. Tone is king. My outrage is stronger than your outrage. Yours is superficial. Yours is misdirected.

This is usually followed by the exercise of whataboutery, or its corollary components of whydidn’tyouthenness or wherewereyouthenology. None of these have anything to do with whatever comment was originally made.

Those adept at these practices don’t like the World in general, but don’t like you in particular. They intend to poke and prod, where possible getting under your skin.

If you’re a public figure this is grist to the mill; part of the territory or any other cliche on acceptance that’s meant to apply. For my part I have accepted most of it. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the intensely personal hasn’t breached my defences on occasion.

Despite that, it is the impersonal that most riles me about the virtual reality world of the web. A world I all too willingly choose to inhabit.

Facts that aren’t true. Conversations that weren’t ever held. Promises that were never made. Votes that couldn’t ever be given.

All of this can be lived with, but I lose it in that place of The Web where conspiracies come alive.

For those who exist merely for revelations exposed on, it will come as an enormous shock to learn that the conspiracies they obsess about are cock ups that have gone out control. The actual conspiracies are created by those seeking to distract attention from the cock ups they have made.

The obvious is invariably the more likely explanation. For the most part, at the wrong moment, the lunatics do take over the asylum where bad things happen.

Who needs to think when your pre-ordained prejudice has been catered for? Why tease out things any further when the most fantastic narratives have already been constructed?

Still I will continue to indulge. This is our modern day equivalent of community. For many it’s the closest that is had to company. Now that is sad.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle

17 thoughts on “The Virtual Truth

  1. Stewart Curry

    What would you have actually intended by tweeting #KillUsAllNow? What meaning would have been behind it, regardless of how others would have interpreted it?

  2. J

    Dear Bodger ,

    Can you please change “everything as it happens ” to “Who needs to think when your pre-ordained prejudice has been catered for”?

    Kind regards,

    J (on behalf of Dan Boyle)

  3. DubLoony

    I’m interpreting this to mean that virtual life has its mind already made up, there is no room for conversation, nuance or discussion.

    Except on BS where we’re mainly surviving the day without having any coffee yet.

    1. Sido

      Possibly, but it sorta extends itself, to people who disagree with him.
      It’s difficult to know where he’s coming from here. Maybe he feels compelled to write something for broadsheet every week.

  4. scottser

    after all his musings on the dichotomy of internet opinion, dan shows us the third way: redundancy. i take it this will be your last post, dan?

    1. Dan Boyle

      My piece has been underwritten to allow others to fill in the pauses. When someone presents “Dan Boyle. God helps us.” as as argument, it more than justifies my writing in the first place.

  5. Decent Eejit

    WHERE does he write/publish his poo? I say “poo” in the sense of “got to get my poo together”. Not that it is actually poo. Dan Boyle was never poo. His party was. But not him. Yet.

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