There is a lot of (useless) speculation going ’round and ’round on the Internet about certain topics. I find most of it to be seriously lacking in common sense and intelligence, but that doesn’t stop the gainsayers from jumping on board and adding a constant stream of fuel to the fires of speculation.
Common sense isn’t that common anymore, especially online where anybody can be anything. I could be a four-star General, a ‘secret insider’ leaking “proof” of imminent threats to Americans. Or I could be a flamboyant ‘investor’ worth billions and billions, manipulating entire markets through leveraged equities.
Insert your name in the above sentence. Online, you could be anybody. And you could say anything. Many millions of people do exactly that. Moreover, and more to my point, many people accept what others ‘say’ as proof of whatever claims are being made.
Some, like that idiot Alex Jones, have made multi-million dollar businesses out of this sort of thing, while incessantly self-promoting themselves from their lofty heights (and multi-million dollar mansions). Most of these people have incredible ego’s, real megalomaniac personalities and disorders. It shows in everything that they do, yet they attract millions of idiotic followers who hang onto their every word, buying every book, video, and DVD endless churned out in their mass production factories. It’s really no different then a religion.
In other life or another ‘career’, they could be even worse then they are now (think Ted Bundy or Charles Manson), so we can be grateful in a oddball way that they have an outlet for their mania.
The Internet in particular, has made it possible for warped personalities and disturbed minds to triumph in ways which was really never possible before. You can now reach millions in an instant with a YouTube viral video or a breaking news story. Matt Drudge is an example — virtually a nobody who got his big (and only) chance one day — and has made the most of it ever since. But the guy is a frigging idiot, posting misleading, inaccurate headlines all of the time in the hopes you will read the material posted — and get site ratings up so he can charge absolutely insane advertising fees.
Most of these clowns exhibit the following characteristics:
a) One of the ‘tells’ of these kinds of people is inaccurate, dishonest reporting.
b) Another is speculation and assumption, straw arguments and logical fallacies.
c) Incessant self-promotion through advertising, videos, articles, books and even personal ‘appearances’ (which they charge a fee for of course).
d) Demands for money through advertising, support, newsletters, sales, membership, ‘alert services’ and a thousand different scams to get you to send them money.
e) Promotion of other similar fools and idiots — the more outlandish the better (think Jeff Rense for a current example).
f) Claims rarely have any of the required proof, hearsay and speculation with various assumptions are all the “proof” required.
g) Failed track records (nothing turns out like they claimed).
h) Personal attacks against any detractors / non-believers.
i) Bizarre belief systems.
The Internet encourages this type of behavior due to its ubiquitous use and anonymity. Real life, i.e., “face to face” would limit the amount of damage that these people could do, but that day and age is gone. They’d have fewer crowds, fewer followers and be forced to confront their detractors, who’d probably kick their asses.
We didn’t use to have to put up with this kind of snake oil salesmen, not enmass like it is today. Now, it’s virtually everywhere as charlatans, fakes and fools inhabit the wild and woolly Web with wacked out “theories” and endless speculative “reporting” of news and events, private interpretations which are intended to be the New Gospel from the Ministries of Truth (alternative media), but in reality are seriously dangerous distractions affecting the lives of millions of the ‘converted’.
In the last decade or so, as the Internet has become more powerful (billions of new users), even the traditional media sources have taken to exhibiting this kind of behavior. Websites that were once informative are now choked with advertisements, useless “reporting” and endless speculation passed off as “news”. Many go after this cult-following format, inculcating the “converted” with an endless drip of information addiction.
Making matters even more worse for those interested in the truth (about anything) is user comments. Sites attract a certain type / kind of visitor, many who enjoy posting their own commentary about almost anything. Many are complete and utter idiots, advising knee-jerk reactionary and straw argument “logic”.
This is where you will find some really strange and bizarre belief systems being promoted, which leaves an intelligent person in near-shock at what is being promoted as gospel truth. Webmaster apparently encourage this stupidity.
Common sense is almost always absent, especially on the so-called ‘alternative’ news sites. Most of these have taken to moderating comments to filter through only the supporting commentary by registered users.
Ultimately, it means that although the Internet can be a useful tool, having to wade through so much useless speculation, bad reporting, incomplete information and dogpile user commentary can be an exhausting and fruitless exercise.
I’m not going to be able to offer anyone any suggestions to solve this. Bookmark the sites you like and learn to simply avoid altogether the one’s you don’t.
It is because of this laborious ‘task’ of staying reasonably well informed that I’ve taken to posting less and less lately. I feel as if I’m surrounded by absolute idiots who will believe anything, buy anything and support anything. All it takes is for some clown to post some poorly researched article, which then gets instant support from utter morons, to put a really bad taste in my mouth. The amount of disinformation being published is really hard to overcome.
People will believe absolutely anything if it gets posted online, and even more people will believe it if certain personalities promote it (which they are wont to do, it always brings in the $$). It doesn’t have to true, factual or even accurate — the more controversial the better. Trying to counteract this escalating idiocy is pretty hard. Detracting comments are filtered out or instantly piled on by legions of brainwashed followers.
I recently read where George Soros invested $130 million in gold stocks (paper) — which supposedly means that “the markets are about to crash”. Actually, it means something else altogether. Since this represents a paltry .065% of net worth, Soro’s investment is not going to do much of anything — except create a lot of stupid and useless speculation about investing in gold and getting out of the markets. The only people who are going to pay attention to this are those who are easily misled and still think gold is an ‘investment’.
I also read where the DHS is going to purchase millions (or billions, depending on what you’ve read) of rounds of ammunition — “proof” that martial law is about to be enacted. And in a (s)Election year, even more “proof”, with even more wild and speculative theories that Obama will suspend the (s)Election, the non-existent detention camps will fling their doors open, the Red List names will be rounded up and on and on.
More stupid, useless speculation. Who even cares if DHS buys more ammunition? Think about it. Doesn’t every law enforcement agency in this country already own billions of rounds of ammunition? Plenty enough to get a civil war / martial law / civilian roundup / gun confiscation program well underway whenever they may stupidly want. New ammunition purchases don’t mean diddly squat.
Update 8/19/12: the above idiotic speculation is being fueled by Alex Jones. Here is today’s news however on what is really going on: Agencies tamp down speculation on ammunition purchases. Suggest everyone read this to get a proper perspective on things and why listening to idiot speculation doesn’t do anybody any good.
There is also the other numbers game everyone seems to forget. Civilians outnumber “officials” 100:1 or even higher. Armed civilians. Law enforcement doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of (violently) forcing their way upon the population. And if you’re paying attention — that is NOT the way they do it now either, except in the botched raid cases, where they tend to try and outnumber their victims (also about 100:1).
The notion that law enforcement is going to turn upon the public at large is RIDICULOUS and suicidal. They’d all be dead in a week by ten million gun owners. Or how about a 100 million? Rather, they will do what they ARE doing which is passing more onerous legislation, slowly disarming cities and civilians, even entire States with gun bans, cancelling gun shows and making it harder and harder to obtain a firearm. But they’ve got a LONG ways to go (as in years and years) due to the hundreds of millions of gun owners. And in many instances, they’re LOSING this particular battle. Do they want us disarmed? Absolutely, there is ample, factual evidence of this. But they can’t do it right now.
The 30,000 “civilian drones” story is heavily promoted. This story is factual, it’s true and it will mean even less personal privacy / Big Brother surveillance then before. But like the ammo purchase, or Soro’s ‘investment’ — you can’t do anything about any of it anyway.
Most of what passes off as news, especially these idiotic ‘alerts’ you can sign up for has nothing to do with you. Your life goes on pretty much as before. On occasion, important and meaningful information is posted, but you definitely don’t have to pay to get it.
I do not bother to engage these stories or help promote them in any way because they are factually useless, surviving with a life of their own on pure speculation. I refuse to report some things nowadays, as there really is no point. I cannot see the benefit in helping some huckster get your membership, your money or your support to fuel their incessant conspiracy theories. I find that common sense and a basic understanding of how the world actually works is often absent. There are conspiracies, yet in the final analysis, you’re not going to be able to do anything about any of them anyway. The ones that affect you are the ones you should actively try to stay abreast on.
The old saying that “Even a broken clock is right twice a day” applies here. Anything is possible, anything could happen. But there is little point in designing your life around “anything”. Filter through what you think is possible, probable or soon and then deal with is the best you can. Long term trends are also worth paying attention to, such as what happens when the acquifer you depend upon dries up? It may not happen this year, but if the trend is it’s disappearing, then wise up and do something about your dependency.
Check the facts too. Most Internet rumors are just that, lacking in facts, evidence, proof or the existence of what is being claimed. Many years ago, I fell for this myself, but have now come to reject these rumors without evidence. And the evidence often does not mean what is being claimed. Read up on Agenda 21 for example — both sides of the story. One side is claiming a UN conspiracy and the other side is claiming environmental protection. Supposedly in many our national parks are hordes (tens of thousands) of foreign troops hiding behind trees and bushes. Not one picture or shred of proof exists, yet this is interwoven into the conspiracy theory surrounding Agenda 21.
There’s more — a LOT more, virtually thousands and thousands of theories floating around. They’re looking for new believers, converts to their religion, and like a religion they want you — so you can go and convert others on their behalf too. Behind it is billions and billions of dollars in marketing, promotion, hype and propaganda, all of it geared to get you on board and by some method, paying into their game. There is virtually no doubt, by the sheer numbers of believers, that America has a large population of fools. A few of these theories are true and correct, but many are not. Most of them won’t do you any good anyway to “know” — your life goes on much the same as it ever was.
The Information Age flourishes on conspiracy theory. It sells a lot of products. It promotes a lot of hucksters. It keeps certain television personalities on the air, radio hosts broadcasting and puts forth billions of tons of ink and paper. But does it actually do any good?
I’m not advocating remaining ignorant. I’m advocating don’t be misled. Prove it to be true. Find the facts, verify for yourself. Our world revolves around money — getting you to buy something. Buy what you NEED.
Common sense tells us that our needs versus our fears is what we should address first. Conspiracy theory operates on fear — getting you to react. It’s a lousy, lousy way to live. It’s hopeless, it’s painful, it causes divorce, job loss, addiction, broken families — all the stuff that SHOULD have been important in your life.
Get your priorities straight. Get your facts straight. Live like an intelligent, thinking human being, not easily persuaded to fear.