Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The difference between Irony and Fakery

Subtitle:  Well between Irony and Lying

Recently I had to completely mute the posts of what I had thought was a good friend on Facebook.  What was their crime?

- Posting at least 10 or so funny videos or pictures or memes per day
- But many (over 50%)  of them were inaccurate
- A few of them were down right wrong and to my mind harmful.

My friend, or colleague is not a stupid person.  But, if I only examined his facebook output I might presume that he was. He was not spreading good will and humour,  but more often than not dis-information and occasionally lies (to call it what it really is).

I had tried to correct the errors, but his posts kept coming, and he did not heed my subtle and then not so subtle comments.

Only Facebook
You might say, well it's only Facebook.   

But today, in 2015, many people really use this medium and similar Social Media platforms to derive their world view, and facts that will lead them to make serious decisions or actions.

From Humour to Danger

The case shown above (about plastic bags) is almost comical but a quick Internet search revealed

Snopes: False bag attack

Thatsnonsense: Has the law been broken on 5p bags

An Ironic Case

Mr Phuc Dat Bich

An example of a more Ironic and also Facebook inspired joke which was taken seriously by the BBC and many others.  But again 

Just a wind up

Unfortunately  I now leave the realm of humour and drift dangerously towards something more serious

Some Google links to the murders in Colorado on November 27th 2015

You can further Google search the anti Planned Parenthood "Kills Babies" advertising here.  They are promoted on Twitter and Facebook ad nauseum.

What part does the recycling of these Images, most of which are knowing misrepresentations, influence the actions of people like Robin Lewis Dear?

Be Sceptical

In a world when it is easy for malicious falsehoods to be created and equally easy for ignorant or lazy people to forward.

I am forced to be Sceptical

My strategy is

- I receive over 1000 articles daily principally on Computer, Engineering, Mathematical, Religious, Financial, Philosophical subjects
- I read the most interesting subset
- For an article to be added to my consciousness as valid I attempt to cross check it, via Google search with other data
- The bigger the claim from established reality, the larger the evidence that must be put forward to convince me
- If I'm not sure, I might even publish it on the relevant forums or privately to other 'peer experts' just to check
- What I don't want to do is assume the truth, and then blindly forward
- I take pride never to forward crap, humorous irony though is sometimes acceptable
- If I do make a mistake, which I subsequently uncover, it's upto me to broadcast a correction.

Think people, just think.