“Truthiness” versus facts


by Mary Turck • 10/31/08 • “Truthiness” is something like truth–but not quite. Stephen Colbert invented the term in 2005, according to Wikipedia, to describe things that a person claims to know intuitively or “from the gut” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. Truthiness may be fun to kick around on late night TV, but it doesn’t provide much basis for making decisions that affect the common good.

For that, we need facts. One place to get facts that provide the basis for action is Twin Cities Compass, a research consortium of foundations in the Twin Cities area. Its research asks:

• What are the trends we need to know about for quality of life in this community?
• How can we do something about affecting those trends in a positive way?

Compass research identified three significant demographic shifts in the Twin Cities area:

Suburban Growth →Core cities holding their own, but suburban population exploding
Suburban areas of the region have grown faster than the cities during the past few decades; this growth is projected to continue. Read more

More Persons Of Color → New immigrant populations, youngest residents driving diversity
Since the 1990s, the number of Persons Of Color in the region has increased 250 percent. As a proportion of the population, Persons of Color have increased from about 9 percent to almost 20 percent. Read more

Aging Population → Aging of baby boomers will profoundly affect our region’s well-being
Increases in the proportion of persons over age 65, and over age 85, stand out among the most significant changes in our region’s population. Read more

With the pressure of daily news, it’s hard to step back and take a look at the big picture. With the help of Twin Cities Compass research, we will try to bring more of the big picture to the TC Daily Planet during the weeks and months ahead.