BACK UP AN ARGUMENT by quoting something found on a website and, regardless of your intelligence or your research skills, you’ll likely be told, “You can’t believe anything you read on the internet.” My normal rejoinder is to point out that’s akin to saying that you can’t believe anything you read in the library! READ MORE
FAKE NEWS AIN’T NEW NEWS. The term has been in fairly regular if not quite common use for years: it initially referred to the mis/disinformation and propaganda circulated by the thousands of well-connected, rightwing radio talk shows for propaganda. It grew to even vaster proportions with the emergence of the millions of ‘conservative’ websites and blogs known as the Rightwing Blogosphere. READ MORE
THE MAIN MAXIM that I try to follow in living the conscious part of my life is a well-known quote by Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble—it’s what you know that just ain’t so.” These are wise words and ones that, should you adopt them, keeps you on your toes. In fact, if you know nothing else, knowing this could make you a wiseperson. READ MORE
And telling the truth usually requires facts. Anyone telling you otherwise is either very, very stupid—or is trying to get something from you that you really, really don’t want to give up.
Cartoon by Nate Beeler of The Columbus dispatch.
TO TELL THE TRUTH in the face of lies is the job of all journalists, with lies being, you know, those alternative fact thingies that are all the rage these days. Or at least that’s what Lewis Wallace states in an editorial call-to-arms that he had posted on his personal blog. There he addressed objectivity, calling a lie a lie instead of an alternative fact, and embracing the accusation of being a politically correct liberal leftist! READ MORE
EVERY TROLL IS RIGHTWINGED, or least seems to be. Every fake news site and every blog passing on alternative facts also seems to be far right of center. Of course, this is based on my experience on the freewheeling worldwide web of fact and fiction, opinion and assessment, rumor and speculation, and everything else a human can do with words, images, and symbols. READ MORE
SOME PEOPLE DO BELIEVE everything they read on Facebook: “Social media has swallowed the news, threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. Twenty-five years after the first website went online, it is clear that we are living through a period of dizzying transition.
Now, we are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumor, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated; between an informed public and a misguided mob.” READ MORE
I JOINED A CONVERSATION on fellow record collector, Beach Boys fan, and otherwise like-minded (“do not dumb here”) raconteur Rob Norberg’s Facebook page. The thread concerned the ongoing “debate” about the President’s supposedly excess number of vacation days—yet another non-issue issue from the rightwing media and punditry that so easily captures the attention deficit disordered imagination (sic) of Republican voters. READ MORE
A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true by the very terms of the prophecy itself [and] due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Sociologist Robert K. Merton is credited with coining the expression and formalizing its structure and consequences.
The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. READ MORE