Friday, January 15, 2016

Time to Stop Feeding the Crazies

Everything you read in the paper is true, except that which you have personal knowledge of.

From The Washington Post 
comes this piece in which they tell us that Internet nonsense and hoaxes have reached such a roar, that they have decided to kill the column they created to try to debunk them.  It seems there are just too damn many!

There is nothing — NOTHING — too crazy for the Internet hoax beat. Pregnancy by flu shot? Six days of total darkness? In the past 82 weeks, I’m prettyyyy sure I’ve seen just about everything.

We launched “What was Fake” in May 2014 in response to what seemed, at the time, like an epidemic of urban legends and Internet pranks: light-hearted, silly things, for the most part, like new flavors of Oreos and babies with absurd names.

...At which point does society become utterly irrational? Is it the point at which we start segmenting off into alternate realities?

In an earlier column, Caitlan Dewey writes about how the Internet has hived us off from thought in opposition, and that the latest manifestation of this are "apps" that can scrub your Google news and Facebook pages from any mention of Donald Trump or global warming:

Somewhere far down the road, he fears, we might find ourselves in a world like the one depicted in the BBC’s “Black Mirror,” where dissenters or outcasts can be “blocked” from other people’s views as a form of punishment. Once blocked, their reality diverges from everyone else’s.

All well and good, but it is because the world is so full of nonsense and time-wasters that the sane and sober have had to fence up in order to fence out the bad and fence in the good.

If you are running a blog, for example, you can end up wasting a hell of a lot of time debating some person without a job, who cites nothing for authority (experience, books, others, data), and who is little more than a troll begging for attention. Best to have a comments policy, and this blog does.

Block buttons and delete buttons are tools, and they have their place not only as time-savers, but also as training tools.

Change the channel, turn it off, stop responding.  No look, no touch, no food, no talk.  Walk on by as if invisible.

Imagine if we had done that with Donald Trump 9 months ago! 

The power of EXTINGUISHING bad behavior by simply squeezing it out, and shutting it down through non-response, is one of the tools of dog- and people-training that is too rarely discussed.

Is it slow? It can be. But it works, provided there is absolutely NO response back ever.


jeff hays said...

I love it when someone tells me they did their research, which usually consists of stopping at the first internet site that confirms whatever crackpot idea they have.

IrishMolly said...

Lmao does it usually include Wikipedia or some unknown unproven site?

Peter Apps said...

It can't be coincidence that the lady who calls the tantrum toddler's bluff has a well behaved dog, can it ?