Author Topic: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.  (Read 1319 times)

Offline PickelledEggs (OP)

Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« on: February 13, 2016, 12:49:47 PM »
First off, don't get me wrong, it's incredibly frustrating that anyone promotes bullshit. Some are scam artists (which I do actually blame), but some are well-meaning people that simply believe what they are promoting. They live on the internet. These are the youtubers, bloggers, and vloggers that spend most of their day on the internet. Eventually you get sucked in to a vortex of something. Sometimes it's a vortex of bullshit. When you submerge yourself in a certain reality long enough, you start to forget that your "reality" is really just your perspective.
*side note: everyone should watch Paranoia Agent. Yes that side note is relative to this subject*

Who are some of these people? One is Lacie Green. Lacie Green is a veteran vlogger on youtube that started off doing a series of videos called "sexplus" or whatever. I vaguely remember coming across her videos many, many years ago. This is way before youtube was a "thing" and more of a "mainstream" form of entertainment. She now is a frontrunner for the Anutter Sorecuntshun's special flavor of feminism. She also promotes some anti-gmo bullshit. While both these things are chok-full of fallacy and it is VERY frustrating to have spread by anyone, let alone someone that has a big following like her, I understand how she could shift towards that vortex of shit. Like I said. She lives on the internet. Anyone that has been on the internet has noticed... You click one thing, then it turns in to another thing, and another thing... youtube and search browser algorithms make sure that when you click something, something of some relevance is right there, ready to be clicked and looked at. She is just one example. There are so many more. Even Thunderf00t, as much as I like him, he seems to have fallen in to a different vortex of shit. The second he started bashing Anutter Sorecuntshun, he seems to have been lost in that vortex. Reality is, Anutter doesn't have THAT much of a presence. Talking about her, even negatively and pointing out that EVERYTHING she says is fallacious... gives her more and more power. The more you talk about it, the more it shows up. If you don't talk about that "thing" it goes away. As in life, but even more so and more potently on the internet. But Lacie Green now lives in a "reality" that women are being overly oppressed and "objectified". And Thunderf00t lives in a "reality" that Anutter Sorecuntshun has more relevance than she actually does.

Related videos. Related links. You click one cat video, then there is another video of Lil Bub and maybe a video of a baby raccoon, then you click one of those and it's a video of a puppy. That... is the vortex of shit. It is so easy to be sucked in and almost just as easy to lose what reality is. If you have a facebook account, no matter what is on your news feed, it could be about anything. The cookies on your browser and the algorithms in facebook makes sure that, going by the people you are friends with and the pages/people you follow, you will see 3+ related videos right under it. Someone shared a link about a vaccines causing autism? Right under it, there will be a video about something similar, a link saying that vaccines have too many toxins, and another link saying the same thing. It creates an unnatural sense of relevance and validity from how much content is supporting the "facts.



I know a bunch of you don't like Bill Maher, but what he says here is on point. The truth is dead. The internet killed it.

People sharing these things are not *necessarily* dumb. They are smart, but mislead. James Randi made a good point with (and I'm paraphrasing, but) "Smart people are sometimes easier to fool"
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 01:17:27 PM »
I was just about to post a video of laci green going full retard about biology.

https://streamable.com/1py6

LG: Is there such a thing as a thing a female brain or a male brain?
VH: Well it's difficult to categorize a brain as male or female. So let's say you cut a brain open, and you look at two parts, you wouldn't be able to say if it was male or female, or even from a transgender or gender-neutral person. There is a small difference in one of our areas of the brain, the corpus callosum, it connects your two hemispheres. And it's slightly bigger in women, and we can't really infer anything about how your brain functions from that.
LG: So if there is no such thing as a female or a male brain then, what's going on with differences that we see in people's behavior?
VH: So the differences we see in our behavior are mostly the result of our environment and not our biology.

So bascially laci green went with "corpus callosum"? we don't know what it does, therefore it probably does nothing right? Also i love how this stupid argument always seems so reductionist which i'm sure is what they think they oppose. Two words: endocrine system. How the fuck do you talk about biological difference between males and women and do not take into account the system which plays a critical role in the developement of secondary sexual charactheristics. They talk about the brain like an independant piece of dead meat searching it for a big structural difference, when it's already known that the way the chemical messangers of the endocrine system work in The brain causes significant differences between males and females.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 01:21:59 PM by mauricio »

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 01:41:47 PM »
PickelledEggs, I agree with you to a certain extent.  You get people who live in echo chambers (not us atheists, though) who sort of lose touch in the general populace.  And the search algorithms on Google and Youtube mean that you're more exposed to stuff that you already agree.  Laci Green is a pretty good example of that.  I was pretty aghast at her Halloween costume policing, but apparently that's completely normal in SJW circles.  And yeah, Thunderfoot tends to make mountains out of molehills with Anita.  I've heard that rank-and-file feminists try to distance themselves from her now.  I don't know how accurate that is, but either way, her brand of stupid gets far too much air time.  She's fit for a punchline, not an essay.  That said, ignoring this stuff doesn't necessarily make it go away.  It gets far too much of a pass as it is.  In fact, it became the problem that it is today because of a lack of criticism - a "listen and believe" environment and somehow managed to attract quite a following.  People naturally assume that someone presenting themselves as fighting the good fight and using the right sort of rhetoric really are a force for good in the world.  It's terrible that their good intentions get taken advantage of like this.  As you already know, I think bullshit should be called out and not be allowed to slide.

It's true that these people aren't necessarily dumb, just horribly misinformed - though it's an easy mistake to make.  Also, one wonders how much of this was intentionally chosen.  Instead of Anita and co, I'll use creationists as the example.  These people have access to textbooks, museums, and the internet.  There's mountains of information to the contrary of creationist positions.  Even a casual google search comes back with some pretty scholarly links.  So, it's practically impossible to not come across it.  Why doesn't that change minds?  Because they already hold an unquestionable ideological position against it at the onset.  Who's fault is that?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 01:56:06 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline TomFoolery

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 01:58:20 PM »
I know a bunch of you don't like Bill Maher, but what he says here is on point. The truth is dead. The internet killed it.

I don't think this is necessarily true. I think the truth is still out there, but the Internet has served as a medium for people who think their viewpoints should be treated as serious candidates for the truth. Sometimes they are flat out lies with no basis, sometimes they are assertions based on shaky evidence that might actually have a few grains of truth in it, and sometimes they really are the truth just presented in a bad or misleading way. The problem of figuring out which case you're dealing with is becoming so convoluted that there's no point in trying anymore.

The problem is the Internet has created a place where anyone and everyone can have a public opinion. The problem with our culture is that in an effort to be inclusive and prevent discrimination, we've gone above and beyond to respect the opinions of others.

How often do we hear, "Well, I'm entitled to my opinion..."

That's all fine and well if we're debating that chocolate is a better flavor than vanilla, or if Nickelback is the worst thing to ever happen to music, because those are opinions of taste. It becomes a lot more serious when we're arguing about opinions of fact, such as whether or not climate change is real or vaccines cause autism. Opinions about facts are far more dangerous because they're easily confused for opinions of taste, and in an overly sensitive and politically correct world we just go out of our way to accommodate every viewpoint.

We are taught to believe that bias is always bad, but it isn't where opinions of fact are concerned. If 98% of scientists agree that climate change is real, 1% are uncertain and 1% claim it's a hoax, we shouldn't be inviting equal numbers of people from each camp to present evidence at a political forum.
How can you be sure my refusal to agree with your claim a symptom of my ignorance and not yours?

Offline PickelledEggs (OP)

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2016, 02:16:23 PM »
Absolutely on point, Hydra.

I feel like most people are too lazy to do a quick casual search on google for a legitimate and scholarly link. We tend to do it here, as do most skeptics, but then again, this forum is not most people on the internet.

And Tomfoolery, The truth is definitely out there, it just tends to get drowned out by the white-noise-vortex-of-shit (for the people that don't know how to redirect their internet-autopilot). I don't think Bill was implying that there is no more facts on the internet at all, he was implying that there is so much nonsense, that it gets lost, if you don't know what you are doing/too lazy to sift through it correctly... and a lot of people are too lazy/don't know how to do that... which in turn creates more sharing of nonsense... which in turn creates more demand for creation of more nonsense.
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Offline TomFoolery

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2016, 02:28:46 PM »
he was implying that there is so much nonsense, that it gets lost, if you don't know what you are doing/too lazy to sift through it correctly... and a lot of people are too lazy/don't know how to do that... which in turn creates more sharing of nonsense... which in turn creates more demand for creation of more nonsense.

That's what I was trying to say. There is plenty of truth, but there's so much other stuff it's hardly worth it. It's like shopping at a garage sale: you really can find some treasures, but you have to hunt for a while and dig through a lot of junk that sometimes it barely feels worth it.

I have often heard it's a shame there are no more "great thinkers" like the founding fathers. I think there are, it's just that 200+ years ago most people weren't educated and couldn't read or write, so having an opinion was easy when you weren't fighting to be heard over a din of ignorance. In order to have an opinion, you had to write it down and get a newspaper editor approve it or finance the printing of it yourself. Fast forward a few centuries and now we have more people who are educated and most people can read and write, but there's no cost or even difficulty associated with having an opinion, so many great thoughts are drowned out.
How can you be sure my refusal to agree with your claim a symptom of my ignorance and not yours?

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2016, 03:09:39 PM »
I have often heard it's a shame there are no more "great thinkers" like the founding fathers. I think there are, it's just that 200+ years ago most people weren't educated and couldn't read or write, so having an opinion was easy when you weren't fighting to be heard over a din of ignorance.
Yeah.  There most certainly are lots of great thinkers out there (even more than in the past, if I may be so bold) - it's just that many of the great thinkers aren't household names.  Quick show of hands, who knows anything about Charles Babbage or Konrad Zuse or Linus Torvalds or Tim Berners-Lee?  How about Steve Jobs?

The past was very much like the present, lots of extremely famous people of little lasting importance and geniuses with next to no fame who ultimately changed the world.  The past only seems better than it was because we remember the geniuses, even the ones unknown to their contemporaries.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 03:54:38 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline PickelledEggs (OP)

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2016, 05:16:06 PM »
Without searching:
Charles Babbag-no
Konrad Zuse-no
Linus Torvalds-Yes
Tim Berners-Lee-no, but the name rings a bell
Steve Jobs-obviously yes
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2016, 06:09:42 PM »
I've stopped trying to dig too far into crap that's questionable nonsense anymore and definitely don't spend all day watching stupid videos. Sure there is a ton of bullshit out there, but there has always been a lot of it.  It's just easier to access it, but on the flip side of this is there a lot more very valuable and accurate information about all kinds of stuff..
For example..I had made some false assumptions about wood working and thought I had to buy all kinds of expensive equipment, but thanks to YouTube I've been able to learn techniques using simple hand tools that have been around for centuries that previously I thought would take many years to learn so it's all kind of relative..
Don't let the bullshit suck you too deep in..
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2016, 06:28:09 PM »
Without searching:
Charles Babbag-no
Konrad Zuse-no
Linus Torvalds-Yes
Tim Berners-Lee-no, but the name rings a bell
Steve Jobs-obviously yes
Charles Babbage - first mechanical computer
Konrad Zuse - first programmable computer (aka the modern computer)
Linus Tovalds - Linux, advocacy for open source software
Tim Berners-Lee - invented the worldwide web (he didn't invent the internet, the internet already existed at the time - but he made it way more accessible - he's responsible for those newfangled "web" pages)

Zuse was the only one I didn't know about before posting.  You'd think the guy would be famous as hell instead of just a brief mention in the history of computing.  So many awesome people responsible for some great achievements and sadly, don't enjoy fame nearly proportional to their achievements.

Offline Baruch

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2016, 07:31:48 PM »
Without searching:
Charles Babbag-no
Konrad Zuse-no
Linus Torvalds-Yes
Tim Berners-Lee-no, but the name rings a bell
Steve Jobs-obviously yes

I'm an IT guy, so I know all of them ... but ask me to know a list of folks from some other non-technical area ;-)

There were a lot of people, including Zuze and Turing, responsible for computer developments before 1960 (first transistor computers).  Even historians argue over who did what.  Zuze was obscure because he was working in Germany/Switzerland during WW II.  Nobody knew about him (or Turing) until after the war.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 07:34:27 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2016, 07:43:11 PM »
Maher is an authoritarian, like the Pope.  He just wants to be the Pope of the Internets.
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Offline PickelledEggs (OP)

Re: Why I don't blame internet personalities for promoting bullshit.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2016, 08:14:05 PM »
Maher is an authoritarian, like the Pope.
I agree. I love how he is very blunt with his words, but I despise his authoritarian (that's the perfect word) personality and ways of going about some things.
"Tell Pilate to release the files!!!" - Bill Hicks
"I have an open mind, but not so open that my brains will fall out" -James Randi
"One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another." - NGE