Browsing the internet for web sites of like minded people can provide some rather interesting experiences. Sometimes I end up going in directions and discovering things I had not even thought about. Occasionally this voracious consumption of time and productivity is rewarded with entertainment and enlightenment. Which is one of the reasons I love the internet – I have an insatiable desire for knowledge. A desire that can be fed with trivial tidbits or the most serious knowledge I can wrap my brain around. I have been described as an infornographer. Mostly in a derogatory context yet I see it as a compliment, as it is debatable where a healthy thirst for knowledge ends and infornography begins. Acquiring an abundance of apparently trivial information is educational and aids in the formation of useful intellectual compulsions for obtaining even more knowledge.
Critical thinking is a very important aspect of this behavior. The ability to identify logical fallacies in the arguments of others, and to avoid them in one’s own arguments, is both valuable and increasingly rare. Fallacious reasoning prohibits us from knowing the truth, and the inability to think critically makes us vulnerable to deception and manipulation by masters of rhetoric. The media & politicians (in general), Michael Moore, the 9/11 truth movement, Keith Olbermann and Alex Jones (infowars.com) are excellent examples. One only has to watch one of the many pseudo-documentaries claiming to be the evidence of some massive conspiracy to see many logical fallacies in action. Michael Moore’s recent movie Sicko showcases his ability to manipulate even the most trivial data to force his ideology on the all too willing masses. Which brings me to what I hate about the internet – The proliferation of ignorance and stupidity.
It seems that the least intelligent among us tend to shout longer and louder than those who have acquired wisdom and judgment, sadly ignorance often prevails. If you’re thinking that it’s cynical of me to say such a thing or you don’t believe me? Just listen to a random Liberal sometime, watch Keith Olbermann or browse the comments on sites like YouTube or almost any forums around the internet. Look at almost any conspiracy theory, most notably the 9/11 conspiracies. At best you will find varying degrees of rhetoric amplified by negative remarks and attitudes. At worst you will bombarded with nefarious misinformation, pseudo scientific garbage and outright lies.
Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Alex Jones, Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe and others use this to their advantage, they focus on the negative and sell it to the fools. The fools band together protesting, commenting, emailing and complaining about the perceived wrongs. They believe everything the see or hear, so long as it fits their predetermined ideology. Currently it seems this ideology is often driven by an irrational personal disdain for President George W. Bush and or a predisposition to believe anything negative. These people have a greater fear and hatred of our President than they do of our countries enemies, than the people who actually have killed thousands of Americans.