Mick looked at his mate, the two of them were into their second bottle of red, outside it was cold and wet, inside, warm and comfortable, not to hot and not to cold. Just right to listen, if not egg on his rational philosophical pal. With the added bonus was it was Johns Red wine he was drinking, which was always bloody good wine.'
'Ok you've been banging on about Trump for yonks, you won the last Trump bet, I'm not sure I want to take another one.'
'Alright then, what if I based my logic on everything else but trump, I'll give you some rationale to my prediction and you can decide on what the wager is.'
Watching John's face Mick new he was in for a good serve this time. He had been here so many times before it was ridiculous, and still he managed to get sucked right in.
'What's the logic then?'
John shifted forward in his seat, poured himself another Red and lent forward on his elbows.
'Right, you've heard the term Post Truth World?'
'Yeah everyone talks about that relative to Trump. I thought you weren't going to talk about Trump.'
'I'm not, not mentioned him at all, you're jumping to conclusions. So what is it about?'
'I don't know really, I've not thought about it a lot beyond the noise that is Trump, the habitual liar that he is.'
'Oh, oh. You've hit on another topic their, would you believe they are now referring to them as False Claims.'
'You're shittin me?'
'No not at all, there's this fellow Daniel Dale who's been tracking Trumps lies, I mean false claims. He isn't saying Trump doesn't lie, in fact he says he lies a lot, just that some aren't necessary lies if your so ignorant you believe them. So could you actually be lying if you think they are true. And that's not counting the ones he simply get's confused on, like blaming democrats for his own dodgy border policies.'
'Ok I think we've just hit on a good understanding of Post Truth, where lies are no longer really lies just reflective ignorance and confusion on a grander scale.'
Mick took a swig of his wine, not that it was going to help him, his head was foggy enough without all of this double speak.
'So.' John continued 'So theirs research out there that says by 2022, most people in places like Australia, UK, you know first world countries will consume more false information than true. America of course appears to be leading the way.'
'Hold a tic, I need to do a pee.'
'Grab a bottle on the way back.'
John watched his friend wander away, he loved it when Mick came over. They'd always manage to sit and have a good old chat, someone he could take the time to express his views to, someone who understood he was a maven of information pulling together threads into some sort of idea and then letting giving him a chance to externalise his thinking into some sort of coherent thought.
'Where's your corkscrew?'
'They are all twist tops these days, I've not had a cork in a bottle in this house in years.'
'Not that you knew of anyway, this ones a '87 shiraz.'
'Top Draw below the chopping board.'
'So what were you saying?' Mick casually asked as he popped a cork from a 31 year old Shiraz. John was a smart bugger but Mick was going to take advantage of his absent mindedness; filling both their empty glasses with what he was hoping was a bloody good red.
'OK, take this idea of ignorance and confusion, We won't even mention lies, throw in social media, then tie that with the idea of confirmation bias, tickle it with some outrage and whacko you've got yourself an post truth incubator on steroids.'
'No your making no sense what-so-ever.'
'All right let me wind it back a little, do you use facebook?'
'I'll be honest, I've got an account but I am way to busy for that way to superficial.'
'OK so you and I might be the odd ones out there, anyway let's call it a confirmation bias platform. there is all this evidence out there that the engines of the web, be it google be it facebook start to target you with advertisements. You know, you look at a camper trailer one Christmas and blow me down if the same add doesn't come up again around the same time each year.'
'right now add to that idea that we all move in circles of friends, for example, most of us don't smoke many of us drink.'
'Name someone in our circle who smokes right now?'
'I can't that's the point I am trying to make.'
'ok so what your saying is a circle of friends using a social platform are getting the same adds and information and not the stuff outside of that which is a bit confirmation bias you are talking about.'
John took a swig of his wine, it was a bloody good wine. Leaning forward to top up Mick's glass he looked at his friend, happy that he was getting it. He continued.
'Right so now you've got the bulk of it, now you just need to add in a nefarious actor like Trumps Veles.'
'You're a goose Mick. Veles is a place in Macedonia, it's known as the fake news hub. It's actually just Veles, people now call it trumps Veles.'
'Right then, so in Veles you have these nefarious actors who do all sorts of stuff, they create fake news and mash it up with real news. Then they inject it into the CB Platforms. All the better if they can load it into the space and trigger Outrage.'
'Outrage generates dollars, that and porn. Upside of Outrage is you can hit a much much larger market, and because outrage is something you don't have to be secret about it can be amplified.'
'Fair enough, but how does outrage generate dollars?'
'Well the Web engines I mentioned earlier are based on advertising, advertising means money with people getting clicks for whenever someone clicks on an add associated with their site or content.'
'So what these nefarious actors try to do, and America seems awfully susceptible to this because of the religiosity of politics, is inject the polarised views into the CB platforms and blow me down if they don't trigger a social flare.'
'Think Solar flare form the sun, this one is simply a social flare, that then ends up with all sorts of things, like PizzaGate where some fake news incited some silly fellow to go shooting people in a pizza shop in America.'
'OK. OK. You're doing my head in. What and how does all of this lead to you betting that Trump is going to win in 2020?'
'Mate, he has as good as won it already.'
The two of them sat in silence for a minute, Mick shacking the last drops of wine from the bottle.
'I'm not taking the bet.'
Is this all fiction? Or is it Fake News - I thought I'd include a few of the links that helped inform this one.