Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hoax is a twelve point word in scrabble

You could blame the folks that listened to the radio on October 30, 1938 of being naive. Aliens were not attacking the world, contrary to Orson Welles War of the World's radio broadcast. Six million Americans listened to the CBS radio show and it was reported 1.7 million of them actually believed it was happening. So prolific was the success, that over 10,000 news articles were written and even Adolf Hitler used it to reference the excess of democracy and decadence. This was a radio broadcast and a gullible public swallowed it up wholesale. Surely we are smarter now...these seventy two years later. We wouldn't get sucked into anything so foolish as a social trend promotion and blindly follow a trend without doing our own research. After all we have the Internet now right?

Those folks in 1938 didn't even have television. How were they supposed to know? We aren't just blind mice are we? Grab the cheese. We're idiots folks. Face it. We have become so addicted to the Internet and social media we just blindly follow whatever the mass is selling or telling us. What's in? What should we buy? Who's cool? What's the picture we are supposed to post on our profile? Cartoons? sounds good. Never vetting, never researching, just blindly associating and off we go. If everyone you knew jumped off the bridge would you do it? Well did they post it on Facebook?? Maybe...

Wikileaks is posting classified information. Is it harmful, sounds like it could be. It puts international relationships at risk and endangers operatives in other countries. We have so far managed to diss several heads of states and have shown our true feelings about supposed international partners. Now the Wikileak founder is on the run for rape charges. He is threatening to release even more classified documents. There is a nuclear option that he will unveil if he is captured or tried for treason. This is a colossal story involving every country we deal with and I'd bet 85% of the general population is more aware of the final BCS standings, the new Harry Potter, or this Facebook campaign where you all put up pics of your favorite cartoons only to discover it wasn't to help promote child abuse at all. No one vetted. Everyone just followed. We have to assume what we are being fed is the truth right? No one would intentionally lie to us? I mean, we're all too smart now right? This is the information age after all. Of course no one told you that information flowing in from a million channels into a billion computers worldwide is often never truly vetted. We just absorb it and spew it out as fact.

I bet more people are upset over the Facebook hoax that they will learn about in the next few hours they were a part of then the WikiLeaks story which exposes everything said and done regarding national security and foreign policy between countries we go to war with or against. Maybe we need to socialize our important media. Maybe we need cartoon anchors on the news telling us what we need to retain, what is important. Get the Situation to explain basic finance and talk stocks on CNBC instead of Kramer. Get Snooki to talk about what is going on in North and South Korea and the financial situation in Europe. I loved the SNL clip about TMZ and Wikileaks being combined below:

This is maybe hyperbole. Maybe this all falls on deaf ears because we are over saturated with our jobs, personal lives, the social media, to actually absorb what's important, what we really need to know. It doesn't mean we have to be negative, or gloomy, or live in fear. It just means we have to be more educated than the new life forms we are finding on this planet. When scientists discovered bacteria that is thriving and living in Mono Lake in California we can now assume that life can exist on this planet without oxygen. This bacteria feeds off of arsenic. Which makes it possible that life can exist in this solar system. Alien life.

Orson Welles didn't believe that so many people would take his broadcast seriously. Out of six million listeners, 1.7 million, a little less than 1 out of every 3 listeners actually took the bait. We haven't grown any more intelligent, less gullible, or more observant in the last seventy years. They just have more access to us.