The Abolition of Truth


A re:publica event

Is the Net now truly the enlightenment machine we’ve always hoped for? The womb that gave birth to Wikipedia? Or is it rather a chamber of horrors full of conspiracy theories, a paradise for propaganda? Land of the facts or home of the trolls? In view of the anti-vaccination madness, the 50-Cent Party, and angry citizens with cries that “the press lies”, the question is more pressing today than ever: Are these only a few confused people, or harbingers of a dark age of disinformation? How do people really see these ideas? What global conspiracy lurks behind their conspiracy theories? And who are we really, to think we’re in possession of the “truth”? Does it even still exist?
Question upon question. As always, the answer is: Yes and no.
With the aim of bringing a little light into the darkness, this session offers a guided tour through the craziest ideas and most dangerous manipulations, but also the most brilliant laboratories of truth that can be found online. The talk seeks to explain what falsehood truly is, and how it functions (or fails) in the digital environment. Included will be a cursory quantitative analysis of the Pegida complaints about the “lying press”, and a short excursion into video’s supposed resistance to being faked.
But the concept of truth itself and its instrumentalisation will also be critically examined. What in fact is truth? And how is the grand old lady doing today?
However, the most important question is why people voluntarily remove themselves from any discourse capable of giving satisfaction, and what can be done to prevent them from slipping completely out of reach. And of course, who was really on the moon.


Friedemann Karig, Author, Presenter, and Journalist