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Stanley Bing Asks “Does the Truth Still Matter?”

Does the Truth

Here is a brief excerpt from an article by Stanley Bing for Fortune magazine, To read the complete article, check out others, obtain subscription information, and sign up for free email alerts, please click here.

Illustration credit: Kevin Whipple for Fortune

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Absolutely! We just have to be flexible about how we define it.

In these fast and increasingly furious times in which we live, with a news cycle turning like the exercise wheel of a hamster on speed, does Truth with a capital “T” still matter? Observers of the political and business scene may be forgiven for asking themselves this key question.

And of course once that query is raised, the answer must come back loud and clear from all thinking citizens around the world: Of course Truth matters! It matters a lot! A civilization that doesn’t value Truth with a capital “T” should hang its collective head in shame, right? Truth! Lovin’ it! Can’t leave home without it! Guys who don’t put Truth first? Huge mistake. Sad!

The only thing is—just to clarify and be completely honest with you here—there are valid exceptions. While of course being with the Big T is important, sometimes we need smaller versions. It’s a good thing many small-“t” truths have been invented.

[Here are five of the nine he discusses.]

Political truth: Good for #winning. We can balance the budget and cut your taxes and build a tower to the sky! What? We can’t? I can’t hear you over all that cheering!

Opaque truth: This is the kind that needs to be clarified. So that’s what we’ll do! We’ll have our chief clarification ­officer get the job done. In the meantime? Take a hike!

Former truth: It vaporizes after clarification! #Convenient!

Unseasoned truth: True story: My pal Rossiter is talking about an acquisition he’s trying to close. Every now and then the other party evaporates for a couple of days, and nothing gets done on the deal. “I think he may be shopping the thing to another buyer,” he says, sighing. “He says he’s not. But I’m taking that with a grain of salt.” #Tasty

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And then, oh, yeah, there’s … Truth! The real thing. First and foremost, always! Anybody who doesn’t agree? #Idiots!

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Here’s a direct link to the complete article.

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Stanley Bing is a Fortune columnist and best-selling author of business books noted for their wisdom as well as their sharp, slightly acrid sense of humor.

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