Monday, February 3, 2014

Misinformation Super Highways

Much like Ivory Soap the internet is 99 and 44/100% pure. The question is, pure what? I suppose the answer to that depends on what day of the week it is.  How much anyone has had to drink before sitting down in front of the keyboard. How angry the mood is. And how stupid the person cares to act in order to be heard.

When it comes to the stupid, I'm not referring to those whose opinions on anything differ from mine. I'm referring to those willing to threaten rape, murder or other means of bodily harm when someone disagrees with them. Now that's stupid.

The creation of social media, whether it be blog sites, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Youtube, etc. has given Joe and Jane Doe a voice. Given what they've got to say and how they say it, I'm not so sure this is a good thing. The fact of the matter is, the internet is opinion based, which makes it a less than reliable education tool. Unless you are inclined to learn how hateful your fellow man is. That is the quickest lesson one can learn given how widespread trolling, spamming, pedophilia, pornography, hacking, catfishing and bullying has become.

I was raised to believe that a polite society doesn't discuss religion or politics in a social setting. Since they seems to be the 2 major topics of discussion 24/7, it's a given that the internet isn't a polite society. I can live with that since I have control over myself, and my account here in Blogger and in Twitter allow me the luxury of deleting what I'm seeing rather than jump in and argue. I don't do that often here in Blogger. In Twitter, I just unfollow people who are hell bent on arguing with everything anyone else says. What bothers me is the outright misinformation spread online.

That misinformation affects most of the major issues we face today. Whether it be politics, religion, healthcare, economics, education, or any other issue, we don't have the facts of the matter since we make it far too easy for opinion to rear it's head. Online, if you try to connect people with factual sources to help them understand the reality, those facts are ignored.

If that information didn't come from our favorite pundits who pose as journalists, it's a lie. For someone who does want the truth, or who wants to listen with an open mind to both sides of the issue, the information they need is too hard to find. Much of what one would find is more misinformation spread by an online blogger saying what they are saying because it gets them traffic.

After 8 years online, I'm not sure I know the truth anymore either. What truth I do know is found in my offline experience. I see prices for essential goods and services advancing beyond what people on fixed incomes can afford to pay. I see far too many working more than one job to begin to make their ends even wave at each other let alone meet. I also see too many entitled people believing they have the right to dictate how those farther down on the food chain must live.

We aren't truly recovering, we're just moving sideways and sooner or later that too will destroy more of our lives. A tool that could be used to advance our knowledge of what's really happening is being used to spread agendas, and not many of those address the real problems in our lives. Problem is, thanks to the internet we don't even understand the scope of our problems let alone how to fix them. We're too busy being fake 24/7 and getting lots of friends. After all, that's what the internet is for, right?







6 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've run into a few too many ignorant people lately. Personally, I love the Internet but then I suppose I screen where I go and what I read. If it doesn't have a reputation for objectivity and reason, like BBC, I don't go there. I used to enjoy Diane Sawyer until someone cloned her and put her on tv. Ah well...
    As for my blog, I am very particular about who I follow (for the most part). I have a couple who are not rolled so tight but they amuse me. And if someone too out there follows my blog, I simply block them. I also block anonymous people. With that said, I very much enjoy the give and take of blogs of people who if they talk religion or politics do their research. Hang in there Sherry!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's not so much the ignorance, it's the extremes that seem to feel they have the right to abuse those who disagree. People seem to need issues to be either clearly black or white and lets have no compromise to move us forward. Those attitudes on both sides of any issue keep us running in place.

      When you stop to think about what's happening on Wall St, you realize there is nothing concrete driving the current high stock prices. There are no goods and services backing those high prices. What's driving them are corporate buy backs of their own stocks. Not enough new construction, not enough new goods, not enough new jobs, just stocks with over inflated prices.

      It's just another bubble. It will burst. Then where are we?

      Delete
  2. "After 8 years on-line", you do know the truth, it's evident, and thats all I come over her for is to read a little bit of it.

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    1. It's getting harder and harder for reasonable, rational people to discuss issues both online and offline. We're so far apart and there's so much ignorance being used as a tool.

      I never thought I'd ever see Christianity used as a defense for hate. Most so called christians don't even realize they are being taught Judeo-Christian tradition rather than scripture. I suspect, based on their own behavior they don't even believe in the hellfire and brimstone but they sure like threatening others with it.

      I have a conscience, it doesn't allow me to abuse people like that.

      Delete
  3. You can't fix stupid - and it will never change.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    Replies
    1. Ain't that the truth?

      At least I can hide from it inside my home with the TV, radio and computer shut off.

      Delete