I was considering titling this post “How the Internet makes you stupid“.
I’ve noticed a phenomenon that is more and more prevalent in our “modern”, or as the young would say, “enlightened and progressive” society. This phenomenon is the almost instantaneous adoption by a large group of people, an idea that is patently absurd.
One of the latest ideas gaining traction is the Flat Earth view of planets. The flat-earthers believe that the Earth and for that matter all planets are disk shaped and not spherical. I’ve known about the Flat Earth Society which I always assumed was just a group formed to have an excuse to meet and drink beer. I did not realize that some low intelligence people actually believe this tripe. Some folks started the argument that all of the NASA photographs are fake and it’s a huge government cover-up that the Earth is not a sphere, but is in reality a disk. Not sure what holds up the disk in the loons’ view of the world, but the in old mythology they used to say the disk was supported on the back of a turtle. When asked what the turtle was standing on, the answer was another turtle, and another, and another. “Turtles all the way down“.
What seems to happen is one or a few loons will categorically state that “someone’s” uncle who worked at NASA said the government is covering up the “FACT” that the Earth is flat. The Internet “crowd” piles onto this “FACT” and using google, all looking at the same FALSE information, CONCLUDE the “FACT” is true. Then the Internet/Tweeties/Face-paging low intelligence crowd makes up all sorts of justifications to validate their belief that the Earth (and all the planets) are in fact just flat disks. One example of this is the question of why we never see the “backside” of the moon. The flat-minded google inspired simpletons say it’s because it’s a disk which I assume they believe must also be on a turtle.
Never mind that the Greek, Eratosthenes, determined the circumference of the Earth and its axial tilt by simple observation, around 250 B.C. I suspect that educators don’t teach this sort of history in elementary school in our “enlightened” times. How much could an old whitish Greek guy without a Tweetie account with at least a million followers and no reality TV show, know?
Setting aside that we now have groups of ignorant young people who believe the Flat Earth model, what is most astounding is how fast and widespread disinformation propagates in our “modern, enlightened, and progressive” society. With the advent of the Internet (Al Gore’s wacky invention) and all of the “social media” which billions of people access, one person, usually a celebrity who has millions of devotees, can adopt a stupid stance and a large number of followers will faithfully believe that idea, without questioning its validity. This becomes the group’s ground TRUTH.
Another example of this phenomenon is the “Anti-vaxxer” movement. Young parents refuse to vaccinate their children because they believe that vaccinations lead to autism. This is all based on ONE case, which was PROVEN FALSE, in Australia. Several celebrities took on the anti-vaccination position and boom, a movement was born, all based on FALSE information. Even lunatic former presidential candidate and Harvard trained physician, Jill Stein, took up the crusade against vaccinations. What this movement WILL ACCOMPLISH is to allow diseases such as polio which were eradicated in our country, to re-emerge as a health threat. Currently the CDC has a level-2 warning about travel to certain regions of the world because travelers may come into contact with the polio virus and potentially bring it back to our country which now has a population of unvaccinated children. Thank you Al Gore and your Internet.
It’s a very cult like behavior.
The idolizing followers, accept without any critical thought the views of their digital gurus. I believe that the young people of our world who have been raised with the Internet as their primary source of information are the most susceptible to this influence. Talk about mindless lemmings.
I hope the turtles don’t get tired of standing on top of each other.