Thought for the Day - 20/02/2014 - Vicky Beeching
George Orwell once wrote that “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Yesterday an interesting new project related to truth-telling was unveiled: a lie detector for the digital age. This new project headed up by several Universities aims to produce software that can tell if we’re tweeting truth or lies.
Their goal is to demonstrate whether the information spreading via social media is accurate or not. This complex process will assess tweets by matching them to other news sources and weighing up factors like the past reliability of the tweeter. The end result will be to flag up inaccurate content and hopefully prevent misleading lies from going viral.
The project has been named “Pheme” after the Greek mythological figure representing rumour and gossip. Pheme was known for mischievously spying on the business of both gods and mortals, then bro¬¬adcasting her rumours around the globe via a golden trumpet. She represents the vast power of words to spread and take on a life of their own, either for good or harm.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the power of words is illustrated in the creation story where God speaks the world into existence. As he uttered words, stars were formed, oceans appeared and planets took shape. He spoke and rivers teemed with fish, flowers bloomed and galaxies began to spin.
As humans created in his image, we too are given the power to create worlds with our words. We speak and reality changes. Through our positive truthful utterances, people are renewed and healed. Through our criticism and lies, people are damaged and destroyed.
It’s no wonder then, since we’ve been given such abilities, that the Bible says we’ll be called to account for everything we say. I don’t see that as a sign of God’s anger or wrath. Rather it’s a compliment that we’re more capable than we can imagine and we must take responsibility for that.
As George Orwell said, truth-telling is radical and can start a revolution. That revolution begins within us, as we are changed when we align ourselves with what is true. It’s like visiting a chiropractor or an osteopath, but one that treats the soul. Deception and lies create a sense of disjointedness within our inner self. Choosing to embrace honesty re-aligns us back into our intended healthy spiritual and emotional structure, where energy can flow.
The power of our words is immense. They have the potential to bring about new creation and unlock life-giving reality. Instead of repeating boring, stale gossip we can choose to speak truth and see new worlds take shape right before our eyes.