There are times in life when you know you’re right…
You’re sitting around with your friends having an argument about something pointless and stupid. At some point in the conversation, someone says, “Dude, you’re wrong.”
Determined to prove you’re right, you proclaim, “It’s on the internet. I’ll prove it!”
Despite the fact there may be 500 websites which legitimately dispute your claim, you look and look until finally ONE article is found which supports your claim.
“SEE, I told YOU!”
Somehow this validates your point and life is great going forward because the internet said so. You happily provided closure with your rebuttal knowing you’ve proven your point with “facts”, or at least something close to it.
Living in the modern world of fake news, I think about this often because we now seem to put all of our research faith into the internet. We sadly rely on the internet for everything. Buying a car or furniture, researching new restaurants, checking out random things. Whatever you’re looking for, more often than not you’ve probably relied on unverified data to form an opinion as you read reviews, articles, or whatever else catches your internet fancy.
Right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s true. We believe what we want to believe, and we when we find something that isn’t what we believe, we believe we can search until we find what we want. Unfortunately, if you search enough you WILL eventually find what you’re looking for, even if it’s entirely false. But if it fits your narrative and let’s you convince yourself, it’s good enough. Right?
As I think back to more than 20 years ago, what did the world do to verify facts back then? I asked this question to a few friends. The most common answer I received was, “Look it up on the internet.”
Thinking back to when I was a kid, we had to go to the library to find information. I realize now how horribly flawed research was back then too because, well, have you looked at old encyclopedias? Encyclopedias were expensive. If you or your library were lucky enough to have a set, they were most likely very old, and if a book was missing from the set or pages were missing, you were out of luck. Every encyclopedia was different, and the information was often outdated and useless, and as we’ve since learned, most of the information (especially science and history) has been proven to be WRONG.
People talk about how dumb the current generation is, but for Gen X’ers like me and those before, we were TOTALLY misinformed. I honestly don’t think we are any better off now than we were then. Back then we were told the information we were given was right, but we didn’t know any better. Today we believe far too much of what read.
What’s my point here? As always, there isn’t one, but I should probably make one up just because you’re here reading this on the internet. I guess I’ll go with this as my point: It’s okay to write articles without a point.
But on a side note:
The sun is cold and the moon is hot.
Wyoming doesn’t really exist.
2 Pac is still alive.
Cheese is banned in 5 US states.
Everything on the internet has to be true.
I know because it said so.
~ Marty ~
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