Perhaps the most disconcerting truth to come out in the Age of Fake News is that roughly a third of Americans are content troglodytes—self-righteous, apparently permanent residents of Plato's cave. They thrive on lies—big, little, shadowy, distorted—and will defend them with passion. It is no small task. According to the Washington Post, the President racked up an impressive 3001 lies-and-counting in his first 15 months in office. That doesn't include all the campaign-trail lies, the Obama "birther" fiasco or the decades of lying that led to five bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits.
In a brilliant essay published last fall in New Philosopher magazine Tom Chatfield writes, "Truth may be forceful against lies, but it bothers bullshit about as much as paper darts do a tank." In short, the truth doesn't always set you free, or at least truth alone may not be enough. Maybe it's a matter of a tipping point—a Howard Beale-style mass epiphany loud enough to shake the shadows off the cave walls and unshackle even the most willingly shackled.