2/21/11

On Being Gullible.


Knowledge is power.

And we all know that some people should never be armed with too much power.

Point in case - or is it case in point? - at any rate, here's an interesting article about a study conducted among students who were exposed to a fictional 'endangered tree octopus' information page online - and believed it was real, even after researchers revealed the truth.

Because, of course, they saw it on the internets, so it had to be true. I know people who put far too much faith in the internets at large, and Googles in particular, so it made a lot of sense to me. And not only because it was fun to chuckle at someone ELSE'S gullibility, thankyouverymuch.

It's a scary thought, that anyone with the ability to string words into sentences can sign up for a free blog and feed their own opinions into the information superhighway.

I should know, I'm LIVING PROOF. =)

Ethical bloggers should always, ALWAYS strive to separate opinion from fact. But not every blogger is ethical, and not every blog is maintained by a blogger. It's important to check, re-check, verify, and confirm the information you find online. What may have helped Jane Smith from Yourtown, USA to lose 150 pounds in 6 weeks probably isn't accurate, no matter how high in the Googles hierarchy the 'article' is listed.

And WebMD is not the name of a doctor, it is a reference.

And Googles is a simple [albiet GINORMOUS] text search engine.

People aren't perfect, and opinions aren't always truth. That's all a part of the imperfect humanity package. And as long as you remember that, information can be a powerful tool to enrich your life.

And, if you choose to ignore it, I have a lovely piece of beachfront property in Idaho that I'd love to show you. ;)

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