Monday, February 22, 2016

73% Of All Internet Memes Are Factually Mistaken

I don't care if Lincoln said it, it's nonsense, because the Internet has made it infinitely easier to check the accuracy of quotes.

And that's what makes all these inaccurate memes so infuriating: people could have taken a minute or two to check the meme's accuracy before sharing it in your favorite Facebook group, and they didn't. They found the assertion made by the meme to be convenient to their arguments, or flattering to their subculture, and so they believed it and spread it around: 85% of Japan's population is atheist. Evangelicals have better sex lives. Tom Paine was a vegan. Constantine and the Pope wrote the entire Bible, start to finish, Genesis to Revelations. That photo of Hillary Clinton hugging Osama Bin Ladn was not photoshopped. Taco Bell is going out of business. Samsung devices are spying on us for the Japanese government. Obama gave Al Sharpton millions of dollars' worth of public funds. There are trillions of dollars' worth of gold ingots in the Vatican Bank. Hillary Clinton can't be trusted. Drinking lots of beer actually does make you sexy. Every one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was an atheist and an Illumitatus. Karl Marx and Otto von Bismarck carried on a secret love affair for 30 years, and Bismarck is the actual author of Kapital.

Has the Internet made people more stupid? Or were they always about this stupid, and the Internet has brought me into contact with more of them? Or is it completely wrong for me to blame the Internet for any of this, because I could just as well have used it to contact brilliant people who are very scrupulous about getting their facts straight before they assert something?

Maybe all that the Internet has done is to demonstrate that I am an idiot, because this is what I have found after 2 decades with this remarkable tool. If I really am surrounded by idiots, does that mean anything at all other than that I have allowed a bunch of idiots to surround me?

One way or another: the search for intelligent life on Earth continues.

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