Fake News

“Your father-in-law told me that the fact I’m hot and sweaty all the time means I probably have high blood pressure.” My father-In-law is so overweight that he has sleep apnea and diabetes, and he can’t lose the weight because his knee is fucked up, which is also related to his weight problems. Why would you take health advice from someone who is clearly out of shape and has a long list of self –  inflicted health problems? You could ignore that advice before the words were even spoken on a completely irrational basis and still be 100% correct. But, second, why even store the information?  Getting your own blood pressure checked is as easy as going to the grocery store or pharmacy. Literally. That’s where you can get your blood pressure checked. Why fret about something somebody told you when getting the real info is so easy?

A couple folks signed up for a computer monitoring service called iYogi, and now they are getting telemarketing calls from the company several times a day. Come to find out that iYogi has been sued by several state attorney generals for deceptive trade practices.  So I told them to write to the AG in their state.  Luckily, they were able to get help from “a guy” they knew to uninstall the software and as a result hadn’t paid any more money to iYogi.

So here’s the thing. First, why would anyone ever purchase anything from a company called iYogi for Christ’s sake? I mean, I get it that you trust your anti virus provider, but is the impulse to reach for your credit card so strong that there is no time to pause and think? Second, these people have a “guy” for their computer. Why not call and ask him first? And third, if they are getting calls after uninstalling the software, why are they picking up the phone? Just block the number.

I started a show on Netflix last night.  Can’t remember the name,  but it’s narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal and it’s supposed to be a documentary about modern restrictions on liberty in the U.S..  government spying,  arresting protesters, hacking,  that type of thing. In the opening credits they mis quote the first amendment,  substituting the word “pass” for the word “make.” Right there you know this show is crap because if they can’t get the most simple and obvious thing right then the rest of their research is going to be just as sloppy, or worse. The first page of a Google search will yield a full list of credible sources including constitution.org, the government printing office,  and Cornell law school. Moreover, I’m pretty sure every show on Netflix is reviewed by a first amendment lawyer before it airs, so it’s not just the production team that sucks.  And finally, a show about the U.S. government would have to have at least some filming done in Washington DC, which means they could have walked to the library of Congress and copied the O.G. constitution for the quote. I turned that shit off before the opening credits were done.

I suppose all of this is particularly relevant in light of the recent “fake news” “controversy.” The first thing to understand is that all news is fake news to some degree. So, presume fakeness. Better yet, forget about the news.  Some people say “how are you going to know what’s going on in the world?” But, if all news is fake news, then news can’t be the answer to that question. At best, consuming news is a completely passive activity designed to minimize the guilt you feel for sitting around doing nothing. Even the fake news story itself is partially fake,  which makes it neither real nor fake; just another story and a boring one at that.  Seek your own truth. Actively.

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