Dickian Reality

Div I and Trump meet Philip K Dick

Some readers may be familiar with the concept of Dickian fiction or situations. Dick contends that no reality may be real, but everyone's reality is just a perception. His most famous work is probably The Man in the High Castle. It's recently been turned into an Amazon TV Series. According to Wikipedia:

[Dick said] Through his studies in philosophy, he believed that existence is based on the internal-based perception of a human, which does not necessarily correspond to external reality

As a result reality to a person is just what one perceives. This concept came to mind when listening to an interesting interview on KPBS regarding UCSD's potential bid for Division I.(Separately, I highly recommend anyone reading this to listen to the below video)

It's been posted on Facebook that admin has been chronically pushing Division I sports in a bid to increase funding to administration. This is seen as an argument against it, that by supporting Division I we are increasing the pay for administrators. This isn't true, and in the above video, Gary Robbins posits that administration has "said very little [on the issue]." I agree, and when it was initially said on Facebook that administration was supporting it, I couldn't find any mention. It also seemed that Gary thought administration should support it — which I tend to agree with.

Nonetheless when I spoke to those who said it was being pushed by administration they seemed convinced that the fact there was a referendum at all, and that administration hadn't condemned it meant they were lining up behind it to make sure it passed. And this dual reality really invoked Dick for me. They seem absolutely convinced. Their reality is that UCSD admin is complicit. The evidence they see is that admin hasn't opposed it, hence must be supporting, and no argument will persuade them otherwise.

Then I stopped to think; isn't most of life a bit uncertain like this? In a discussion with Trump supporters, Clinton was likened to an immoral criminal who flip flopped on key issues. When I brought up Trump's quickly-changing and fact-free proposals I was told that they either weren't flip flops or were carefully considered policy changes. The media is not to be trusted, as they don't serve the truth. And Trump blasts them with 'his truth,' an appealing mix of gross oversimplification and lies.

Well, this sounds pretty Dickian. As far as many of Trump's supporters are concerned the media and mainstream PC-liberal oligarchy is out to get Trump. Facts aren't to be trusted, only Trump.

This is a big problem. When there are two concurrent 'realities' policy no longer matters. If nothing is true and everything is spin, then policy doesn't matter. You just elect the best person, the person you believe to stand up to the web of lies. And while media hasn't been exemplary for the last few years (heck, it probably helped Trump succeed), the knee-jerk reaction that because the media says something it's wrong isn't at all reasonable. If this 'two-reality' approach continues, there will be a large block of disaffected permanently misinformed voters. Shoulds this continue, we may very well have a fact-free tyranny of the majority. Nonetheless, the 'correct' truth will hopefully prevail. It's easy to scapegoat others, but hopefully vigorous coverage and high quality media can convince those disaffected voters that the issues are much more systemic and endemic than a wave of Mexicans and "bad deals." Hopefully, we don't see this dynamic persist.

Unfortunately, by its very nature it tends to as this apt quote posted on Ian Bremmer's twitter states: