Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interwebs: More Than Just a Stupid-Machine

Prepare yourselves for a mostly unfunny diatribe:

When I started this blog almost exactly two years ago, my first post joked about how any ignoramus can hop on the Internet and start spewing random, made up bullshit.

I think there is a widely help belief that the Internet, like television, is slowly eroding our mental capacity. We point to texting and the abbreviation of language as proof, and hold up such inanely entertaining websites as lolcats to cement that point.

But the older the intertubewebs get, the more I'm convinced that it's not just for porn.

A case in point, earlier today a friend forwarded me a video called "Demographic Problem." I'm not going to soil my site by embedding it - I prefer to soil it with my own special brand of drivel - but for those of you who want to watch it, here's the link. I don't necessarily recommend it.

Basically, the premise is that Muslim people are having babies so quickly in "white countries" like France, Russia, Canada, the U.S. that within an incredibly short amount of time "our white culture" will be erased!


So, get to the sexing, White People!

Naturally, upon watching this shocking portent of my future marginalization, I asked myself "Is this true?"

If I didn't have the Interwebs then I might have just assumed that it was true, gone out and found a White lady to make babies with and then lobbied my congressperson to go out and outlaw Muslim peoples.

Instead, I hopped on the Interwebs and immediately found sites debunking the video, showing mathematical analysis that featuring sourced data proving that the video is basically a gigantic hunk of bullshit.

Just like the infamous Lorne Baxter video about "Barack HUSSEIN Obama!!" that I lovingly fisked on this here blog about a year ago.

Ah, the glorious art of Internet fisking.

In addition to catering to our kinky foot fetishes, the Internet puts us in touch with vast amounts of information - some of it actually credible - that allows us to discern whether or not a statement is true or false.

This means that you can't just go around saying whatever you want, because there's going to be a nerd out there someone who would love - LOVE - to take three hours out of their day to prove that you're wrong.

I received this in my email spam folder earlier today:

I know that this might come to you as a suprise (sic) as we do not know each
other before. I am Matthew Wright, the fund manager of Fidelity Investments
International, UK. I will need your assistance in investing some money in your
country. If you are interested and you want to partner with me, kindly get back
to me for more details. You can use the below link to verify my identity incase
you are having doubts. Reply to me via email or phone call.

Sincerely Yours.
Matthew Wright
Fund Manager,
Fidelity Investments International,
London, UK.

I took Matthew Wright's name, along with Fidelity Investments, threw it into the Google machine and immediately was notified on twenty sites in no uncertain terms that, in case I'm too stupid to tell on my own, this is indeed a trick.

Earlier this month, I read an article in one of Katie's Smart People Magazines. This article suggests that maybe the sheer amount of information, bullshit and otherwise, available to us on the Internet is slowly making us smarter simply through evolution. The idea is that we are forced to make sense out of the vast array of available knowledge and, as a result, our processing ability sharpens and becomes more effective.

I'd like to think this is true, despite the shouting of those who believe it's a machine for at best idleness and at worst evil, and I'd like to think that the evidence of this evolution already exists with every fisking.

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