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Exaggeration


Think about when you come back from Spring Break. You meet all your friends in the Bison and tell everyone where you went, who you saw, and what you did. I’m sure more often than not there are at least a couple details that are exaggerated. But does this really matter? Your story is being told on an insignificant scale to such a small audience. But when we look at Mike Daisey’s story, within the first two days 42,000 people downloaded it, followed by his appearance in numerous forms of media. The influence that his story can have on someone is significant.

What frustrates me the most about him lying to all these people through his monologue is that this topic is serious. I understand that he wanted to capture people’s attention in his theatrical sessions. However, I think that even if he told the truth people would still have a reason to care about this situation in Shenzhen. In his dialogue with Ira, Daisey says, ”I think I was terrified that if I untied these things, that the work that I know is really good and tells a story, that does these really great things for making people care, that it would come apart in a way where it would ruin everything.” Would everything be ruined if instead of visiting ten factories, he only visited three or if instead of meeting with 25-30 workers, he only met with two to three workers? I personally don’t think that would change my perception of the story he was trying to get across. So why lie?

Today, we have an access to an absurd amount of information at our fingertips. Although it may sound naive, when someone confidently tells me a “fact” related to their field of study I trust that this knowledge is true. I think it is part of human nature and how we learn. As our access to knowledge expands, it becomes increasingly difficult to sift through ad determine what is true and what is false.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/460/transcript

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3 thoughts on “Exaggeration

  1. I think Mike Daisey lied because in today’s information overload it is hard to be heard. While Mike Daisey had an audience and used his power dishonestly he wanted to be heard. It is difficult to be heard amongst the multitude of voices and opinions. While I do not condone Daisey’s choice to air his work as a piece of journalism his dramatization of his experience made people listen.

  2. I agree that he got so caught up on telling a story that summarized his overall experience that he exaggerated and strung events together to make them sound like a series of events. Do you think that despite exaggerating some of the facts in his story that most of what he said is true or is he now just too hard to trust?

    • I think that most of what he said was true, but because he lied multiple times to the public most people would find his information too hard to trust. I believe that the radio show provided a number of credible persons to help the public understand what is true and false, but I am not sure if that is enough to help the majority of people understand what is true and what is false.

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