One of my favorite movie (and life) lines comes from A League of their Own : “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Facts be damned: Rising use of emotional language like ‘feel’ and ‘believe’ has helped displace rational thought in ‘post-truth era’
A new study suggests we are living in the post-truth era where ‘feelings trump facts,’ as language has become less rational and more emotional over the past 40 years.
A team of scientists found words like ‘determine’ and ‘conclusion’ that were popular from 1850 through 1980 have been since been replaced with human experience such as ‘feel’ and ‘believe.’
The team also identified another major shift around 2007 with the birth of social media, when the use of emotion-laden language surged and fact-related words dropped.
Although the drivers behind the shift cannot be determined, the researchers suggest it could be a rapid development in science and technology or tensions that came about from changes in economic polices in the early 1980s.
Reason #2,465 why I could never work in a modern office.
Coming from a business background where every single proposition or proposal had to be justified with fact, research, real-world experience and (lastly) common sense, the very thought of going through the same process where any suggestion of same might “trigger” some kind of emotional response at best makes me want to reach for the gin bottle. (At worst, it makes my trigger finger itch.)
In fact, an emotional response to criticism would have made my time’s audience suspicious: Why are they getting upset? What are they hiding? Why should we take them seriously when they are such weak people that criticism upsets them?
Nowadays, of course, all the above responses would result in Stern Words from HR (or even, gawd help us, from your own Management, so pussywhipped has the business world become).
No wonder Socialism has become so popular: because while the eventual goal of Socialism is complete societal control, the way it is introduced is through emotional appeal: “It’s not fair that…” or “We need to end [whatever supposed evil]”, without any fact-based foundation but with plenty of anecdotal or emotionally-based evidence.
Small wonder too that the entire Green Movement is based not only on emotion, but a pack of easily-disproved lies (“Climate is
cooling I mean warming I mean changing, and we’re all gonna diiiieeeee if we don’t do something!!!”)
Facts don’t need to be propped up by emotion; they stand proudly on their own. In fact, it’s probably true to say that the greater the hysteria generated by about some supposed catastrophe, the more likely it is to be complete bullshit.
Dr. Fauci, call your office.