Are we always getting a reflection of reality from our professionals and experts on matters.? Hardly,there are many reasons to be doubtful or at least to include the greater context of what is being written or said. There are many ways to perceive life and life events and it makes sense that how we perceive affects what we see.
I have included two articles here that have recently mpacted me, the first one because I can relate to the writers questioning of what is known. In The Folly of Thinking We Know, Pink Iyer discusses the hunt for the Malaysian Airlines 370 and extends the questions of what we know to a larger scale of what we think we know
In the Jamieson Webster and Simon Critchley article from the Stone in the NYT titled The Gospel According to Me the writers write with confidence about what they perceive to be going on in the world of human consciousness today. There is a sense that as philosophers their reporting of what is happening is factual.
Pico Iyer has also written a book The Man Within My Head which is reviewed here by the Guardian newspaper.
The doubter that I am I am not convinced of how correct they are but Webster and Critchley do raise many interesting points and possibilities to consider. They talk about how postmodern philosophy more specifically Existentialism has influenced modern consciousness and has resulted in the present era of Self Absorbed Individualism that has little to do with reality. From my own exploration I understand that many of the existential writers were influenced by an eastern philosophy, too many to list here. Even Goethe and his creation of Faust is thought to have had some exposure to eastern mysticism. So for me it is possible to consider that in the translation of eastern philosophy to a western interpretation there has been more of a focus on perpetuation of the individual identity. This can certainly have some influence on the end result that is the influence today. They suggest that at the heart of the search for authenticity is a profound selfishness and callousness towards others.
In the article The Incessant Selling of Self by author Ann Beattie she writes about the deceptive practice of self promotion that our youth are forced to undertake.