Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Internet Ate My Baby!

Remember that headline in Australia about 20-something years ago, "Dingos stole our baby"?

Some couple claimed a pack of dingos, tired obviously of small rodents, decided they'd have a McBaby special and ran off with the couple's baby never to be seen again. What the couple were doing at this point when the dingos were organizing a 'shock and awe' type mission, I have no clue. Did they see the dingos run off with the baby and say "wow, those things are fast, we'll never catch them. Let's go back to the tent and make another baby!"

The point of relaying the old story above is that stories like this don't overwhelm, shock or remotely phase us anymore. Why? Because the internet has turned us into a bunch of morons who will believe anything to a degree. Even if the story is utter batcrap, we still get desensitized to the truth after a while where we start to believe anything, and everything, is possible. You know what the "availability bias" is? That's a theory that if a lie is told often enough through media, then you start to believe it. It is especially useful in political agendas.

The internet is full of crap. Wikipedia is written by anybody who wants to give an opinion. Sure, there's plenty of fact on there but who's gonna verify it?

We are now stupid because we accept most everything we read that isn't "man marries octopus in space wedding ceremony then honeymoons on the sun". We believe that a man can marry an octopus. We know commercial spaceflights are becoming available. So parts 1 & 2 of the story become believable. Never mind part 3! Doesn't matter. 1 & 2 are plausible so we'll take that as "could have happened". Sooner or later we relay part 1 to somebody. Probably don't get as far as part 2 unless we're drunk! That person who we've told believes it to an extent and passes it on. Sooner or later, we have a legendary tale of an octopus marrying astronaut!

The internet has allowed more old wives tales, urban legends and myths to come from nothing than all of history and it's superstition-blighted millions before us.

Did you hear the one about global warming...?

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