Saturday, November 26, 2005

In defence of Wikipediaphilia pt1

Someone pulled me up by way of comment on my previous post on my implication that the Internet may be somehow be a less reliable source of information than other sources.

That wasn’t my intention

I absolutely love the Internet

But it does present unique problems.

In the good old days, before the Internet, most news stories would be subject to a handful of different interpretations. Hard core alternative news junkies subscribed to limited production newsletters and journals but this was hard work and small beer.

Now, and without exaggeration, any individual news event may be subject to literally hundreds of interpretations; all of which are just a couple of clicks away. Some of those interpretations are heartfelt and sincere, some are lucid and sane, some are not lucid and sane, and some are planted by individuals deliberately seeking to poison the well. The barriers to entry are low and anonymity easily achieved. The result is thousands of voices, of varying degrees of merit, all clamouring for attention.

Sifting through this stuff is fucking hard work and most people are not equipped with the time or the skills to wade through it all. Remember, just under half the people out there have a sub-average IQ.

Every public interest story out there is subject to lies and spin, and sneaky tricks and, yes, some honest, objective coverage. But, in truth, your average Joe or Jane’s reaction to being pounded with the sheer volume of bullshit that they are now subject to is to become nihilistic, not give a fuck about anything ‘important’ and concentrate on the sports news and celebrity gossip. Can anyone blame them?

A small example from this week…

On Wednesday, Downing Street threatened The Daily Mirror with prosecution under the Britain's Official Secrets act for the disclosing a memo that indicated Blair had convinced Bush not to bomb the Arab language news network al-Jazeera.

So, how many different ways are there to serve this story up on the Internet?

On top of that, I could cite dozens of references who believe that al-Jazeera is CIA funded misinformation and agitation agency anyway.

Aren’t the weekly football results so much more straightforward?

And that’s an example of a relatively open and shut story. If you consider larger more complex stories, such as the entire basis for the attack on Iraq or the 9/11 attacks, the sheer mass of information and misinformation is baffling.

For example, there are piles of hard evidence out there that sections of the US administration were at least complicit in the 9/11 attacks but if you start trawling through the material available on the Internet you will encounter absolute bollocks almost immediately… the airliners that hit the Twin Towers fired missiles into the buildings before striking them … they weren’t really airliners at all, they were holograms

fucking holograms

What are the chances of the real issues rising up through all of the bullshit? The mainstream media has explained the situation to us very clearly ... doubts about 9/11 or the build-up to the Iraqi War are conspiracy theories and all conspiracy theories are bullshit

... fucking holograms

And let’s not kid ourselves here. Hardcore alternative media fans regularly criticise the mainstream media for being bogus yet still feel obliged to seek the validation of the same mainstream media when trying to break a story.

Take the recent news that the Americans used White Phosphorous and Napalm in Fallujah. I’ve been reading about this on the Internet for months now. I’ve seen dozens of pictures of people with their faces literally melted off. This horror happened almost a year ago, yet the story only broke in the UK and US because a documentary was screened on Italian national television. Right up until that point the US government denied the use of these weapons in Fallujah but now the story is acknowledged as being true. The story itself hadn’t changed yet it was transformed from conspiracy theory to a matter of fact purely due to the seal of approval grudgingly given by major news organisations

That’s bullshit isn’t it?


starbender said...

Believe only 1/2 of what you read, and nothing of what you hear!

Daniel said...

Ditto, Starbender! ;)

Nice post Stef.

The plurality of voices on the internet is fab. The bollocks, spin and lies unfortunately do prompt a semi-nihilistic response from myself, to quote a pop song: 'its like that, and thats the way it is.'

A plurality of voices some good, many of the most powerful culpable, complicit and some just downright bad...

Anonymous said...

How the feck can an aluminium nose cone pass through meters of concrete and steel?

That ain't no commercial jet.

Stef said...

Anonymous - If we were talking about the Pentagon crash there's plenty of mileage in discussing what hit that building.

When it comes to the Twin Towers that's an altogether different issue. People think they know what they saw and the majority of people out there will never buy into the notion that those buildings were taken down by something cloaked by a hologram, or even that the footage they saw was edited in some way. And, whether this is fair or not, these suggestions provides ammunition to critics of 911 scepticism.

There are so many other facets of that day that offer stronger lines of investigation; the nature of the collapses, WTC7 falling without being hit, the insider trades, the military stand down, the missing black boxes and video tapes, the swift disposal of the debris from the sites, that I am extremely wary of lines of thinking that look, to me, like they will fail to win people over to 911 scepticism because of their outlandish nature.

But that's just me...

Stef said...

Summary of the Hologram Theory here

Anonymous said...

I'm thoroughly with you on the holograms but no way could a airliner pass through a building and emerge in tact on the opposite side as is shown on many videos of the south tower hit. What kind of metal can pass through and destroy steel and concrete yet emerge undamaged until it explodes on the opposite side of the WTC than it entered?

Stef said...

That's a good question and one I honestly haven't thought about. One to ponder upon in the bath tonight

My gut reaction is that the fuselage didn't encounter any structural supports on the way through, missing the 'bones' of the building.

And then we get onto the Wonder of the Internet. I can grab the WTC schematic floor plans on-line and look for myself.

And actually I will...

BigFrank said...

I love a good conspiracy theory, but I think you're giving our current administration far too much credit.