Myths or facts. Why should we do our homework?
In ancient times people would tell fascinating stories to pass the time. Some of these stories are so legendary that we still tell them to our kids today; however, back then people would for the most part thought of these stories as fact; whereas now we have a little thing called the internet that can help us fact check. They did not have a way to fact check Hercules origin or even where the sun went when it disappeared at night. Ancient people had to fill in the gaps with what little they did know and accept most of these myths as fact. But now in days we can disprove myths using scientific evidence. So why is it then that there are some people who believe in astronomy, trickle down economics and that Donald Trump is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread but Obama is literally the incarnation of Hitler times 4? It is because there is so much false information out there that is presented as truth. tv and the internet are the culprits.
An example of how TV shows can provide misleading information would be shows about the supernatural. Let me start off by saying that I am no stranger to believing in the super natural. When I was a kid I was fascinated by ghost stories and demon possession. I grew up in a religious family so it only made sense that if we had spirits then there would be ghost and if there was a devil then there would be possessions. Now I’m not saying that this type of stuff cannot happen because to put it simply you can not prove or disprove the presences of the supernatural. But what you can disprove is whether or not the TV show you are watching is legitimate or not. Think about it like this. In almost all of these shows you will follow a group of stereo typical ghost hunters (try looking up each characters back ground to see what their credentials are) in their attempts to capture the supernatural. You never see the ghost full on or see them collect any tangible evidence that can be tested over and over again to prove the existence of the supernatural. What is even more important is that the cast are quite clearly actors and the shows are obviously edited. Now the problem that I have with these shows is not that I don’t believe in the supernatural, its that I don’t believe they should be allowed to present their cases as real life or fact when we know that the shows are simply scripted.
The other thing that bothers me the most about these shows is that they are often presented as fact and are often shown on a network that should be a reliable source of information i.e. the history channel. I actually rather enjoy watching some of the shows that the History
channel has to offer. However, I find that a lot of these shows either have little or nothing to do with history or provide misleading information. A very good example of this is ancient aliens. When I first started watching the show ancient aliens my first impression was that it didn’t seem that far off. In the first few episodes they talked about how ancient people would have had an understanding of aerodynamics and used it to build flying cars. Other episodes covered how the pyramids where built using borrowed alien tech, or how DiVinci and Joseph Smith where both guided by aliens. Now that I read back on what I just typed it actually does seem pretty far off. It wasn’t until I did my research that I found out that ancient aliens either used misleading information or cut out information that would contradict their theories. Sorry alien-ham Lincoln.
Now it would be un fare to blame just TV for being a little misleading. Many people now in days gets their news from Facebook mems and YouTube videos. This means we are getting loads of information from non reliable sources with out taking the initiative to do our actual research. I know what you will say. “Aint nobody got time for that”.
So why do so many people believe in things that can not be proven? Or have been proven to be false or unrealistic? The answer is partially psychological and has something to do with how the information is presented and how our brain receives it. Our brain is similar to that of a super computer in regards to how we process and store information. But our brain like a computer would have to work over time if it had to process every piece of information that it takes in. In a life or death situation you would not have the time to think or process information. You just had to accept it and act in the moment. The fallacy here is that sometimes we are lazy and often don’t question a lot of the information that is presented to us.
Now your probable wondering what does this have to do with politics? It’s the same principle. Donald Trump once said in one of his speeches that he thought that Global warming was a hoax created by the Chinese to compete with the USA (Huffington post). Now Donald is not stupid, on the contrary he is probably a very smart man. It’s his followers that are stupid. And when you know that your followers will not fact check anything you do or say you can get away with saying pretty much anything and they will eat it up like apple sauce. But here is the thing, 97% of the scientific community say that global warming is a real threat and they provide proof that it does exist. If we continue to elect leaders who are not on board with this issue then we are on a one way street to having a planet that we can’t live on. Political issues such as this creates a bit of a paradox. You see we can’t prove that aliens exist due to the lack of evidence. However, if we elect leaders who are against immigration then they definitely wont visit us out of fear that we will blame them for taking the jobs that we don’t want. So there you have it, if aliens are real they wouldn’t want to visit us. Shame.
In conclusion I would like to emphasise the importance of doing your research and looking up facts rather then just taking someone else’s word for it. For one, smart people won’t call you opinion dumb if you can back it up. And two, the more people actually do their research the more likely we will be able to sort out lies, whether it be in our own personal life, or in what we hear from politicians looking to win our votes.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-global-warming_us_5601d04fe4b08820d91aa753. Phillip Lewis. The Huffington post. Sept. 22. 2015