There is a new iPhone app called “Settle It!”, applicable for US politics. It is used to resolve dinner-table arguments by checking political facts with PolitiFact. PolitiFact runs a website dedicated to checking facts and assigning degrees of truth to statements by politicians. The result is displayed on a device called a “Truth-O-Meter” (see image). This is used for facts only, and not opinions and that, of course, makes sense.
That’s nice and fun, but in a perverse sort of way. To think kids spend a good 12 years or so in school with tonnes of red ink spilt on their work or report cards for getting facts wrong (yes, the poor kids are made to feel really guilty); yet lying (or at best a failure to check the correctness of facts) seems to become commonplace in adulthood with those who make public statements – that’s bad, bad, really bad.
Talk is cheap! The concept is a great one that PolitiFact came up with to save the public from being hoodwinked (if they care to refer to the Truth-O-Meter), although it’s too bad it’s even needed.