Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jun 2018 00:34 UTC
Internet & Networking

For days now, I've been pondering whether or not to post a link to this story, but after a talk with my closest friends about how much we despise anti-vaxxers - they just had their first baby - I feel like the story in question highlights a very uncomfortable truth we have to face.

If we can agree on anything anymore, it's that we live in a post-truth era. Facts are no longer correct or incorrect; everything is potentially true unless it's disagreeable, in which case it's fake. Recently, Lesley Stahl, of "60 Minutes", revealed that, in an interview after the 2016 election, Donald Trump told her that the reason he maligns the press is "to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you". Or, as George Costanza put it, coming from the opposite direction, "It's not a lie if you believe it".

This is an article by Alan Burdick, who decided to investigate the "flat earth movement" by going to a flat earth conference and speaking with the attendees and speakers. It's a revealing piece that makes it clear flat earth crackpots are deeply intertwined with virtually every other crazy conspiracy theory, with the "flat earth theory" serving as an umbrella to all other conspiracy theories. Add in large doses of antisemitism, creationism, and Christian extremism, and you've got the general feel of the flat earth movement.

The uncomfortable truth we have to face is not that the earth is flat - don't worry - but that insanity like this used to remain confined, isolated, and harmless. Thanks to the internet, however, this insanity is free to spread and infect others, causing real harm to real people. Whether it's believing that the government is spreading dangerous chemicals through the air in form of "chem trails" or abusing, harming, and even murdering your and other people's children by not vaccinating them - it's the internet that allows this dangerous insanity to spread and cause real harm.

The internet is one of the greatest inventions of mankind, but it's also having dark, unsettling effects on our society that we need to address. I don't have any solutions, but we better start doing a better job of arming ourselves against the constant barrage of attacks on science, or we risk our society descending into chaos.

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RE[3]: Rant Time!
by Lennie on Sat 16th Jun 2018 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rant Time!"
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They're still interested in market domination, but the direction now seems to be "be more compatible" rather than "embrace, extend, destroy".

The problem is: that the be more compatible is the first step of the "embrace, extend and extinguish" strategy.

Again-- the facts don't meet the perception. Tracking what I do on a daily basis is irrelevant to their goal, which is to own the cloud and stay on top of the desktop.

Google on the other hand, probably has an AI that's figuring out what I intend to buy over the next 6 months, and that's just creepy.

Why you think Microsoft is different from Google I have no idea.

Both companies are equally deep into the deep learning machine learning.

Also remember Microsoft added advertising to their Windows platform. And they are lowering the 'price' of Windows all the time.

Edited 2018-06-16 15:59 UTC

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