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Random Thought for Friday, August 22nd, 2014: Curse that Diaper!

IMG_20140412_155334Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

It’s a theory of mine that the Internet is becoming a curse upon humanity, that it is the greatest weapon for destruction of knowledge, the greatest tool to divide truth from reality and the largest gossip engine we have ever known.

There, I’ve said it and if you can listen carefully, you can hear the billions of knees jerking in response to this statement.  That commentary in and of itself is may be more than enough to prove my theory perhaps.

Take some time and visit any one of the social networks and/or internet based forums that you subscribe to and look for “that rage” post about an injustice of some sort.  Read everything that everyone posts and take note of how many people seem to be “experts” concerning that topic.

I especially find entertaining all the fuss you may have seen recently concerning a photograph of Steven Spielberg from the movie set of the film Jurassic Park.  You know the one, he’s sitting on the set of the “Trike Scene”, were Doctor Grant and the rest of the group meet up with a Triceratops that has been tranquilized so its medical condition can be assessed.  Someone “trolled” people on various social media outlets by saying that Steven had killed some poor creature and was posing in front of the corpse as hunters will do on occasion; a memento to celebrate a kill.  Many people fell prey to this and exacted much rage at what they thought to be a horrible act.  A classic example of how knowledge or an apparent lack of can change perspective.

Armed with Wikipedia and a larger quantity of free time than exists in our reality, the “Internet Pundit” is capable of showing the universe that there is no limit to how many times one may be able to put their foot in their mouths.  It’s even more entertaining when these pundits are proved wrong and they continue to argue their point is correct.  They will cry that “It’s on the Internet, it’s the written word, it must be true!”

It reminds me of a scene from a movie from the 1990’s that didn’t do so well called Dragonheart.  It was a film that caught my attention as one of the main characters, a dragon voiced by Sean Connery, was completely computer generated.  Being the techie that I am, I went to see this film as soon as it was in theaters.  A decent cast all around and a potentially good story it should have been a blockbuster.  It flopped but it left the world with some interesting things to consider.

First, computer graphics and character generation took a huge leap forward.  Motion capture of an actor’s facial movements with a camera used in tandem with image rendering to produce a more lifelike performance of the virtual character was stunning.  This work was instrumental to lay the ground work for what James Cameron would be able to do in his landmark presentation of the Disney film Ferngully mixing it up with elements from Blizzard’s MMORPG World of Warcraft known as Avatar.  Yes, Avatar, the BEST MASHUP EVER!

It also left us with some great quotes.  There is one that I remember and it applies to so much to day is this:

Gilbert: My humble life is in debt to your exalted prowess, your dauntless courage, and your superb, swift sword!

Bowen: You have the poet’s gift of exaggeration.

Gilbert: Oh, sir, you should read my histories.

While we sit and chuckle at this quote, we should take to heart the truth here.  No one is above distorting the truth, even if it’s not intentional.

Take another example.  This one is from primary school science that used to be taught to stress the need to be exact and accurate when recording factual information in your journal.  Your teacher would line up everyone in the class and would tell the first person in the line a statement of some sort, say, “red and green apples are bitter, bitter sweet” and then that first person would have to whisper that that statement to the next person in the line.  The next person would have to whisper what they heard to the next and so on and so forth.  By the time the last person in the line received this message, the statement would have changed into “Johnny’s butt is sweating biter and green.”

I love a child’s mind for no other reason, innocent truths are constantly revealed and we are born young again each time we encounter them.  It reminds us how we need to exercise the most important muscle we have, our brains.  It also reminds us that being silly can reap the most serious benefits.

As more and more people become involved with the transmission of the original statement, the more and more muddled it becomes.  So is the same with the Internet.  Most people only respond to the statements made in the comments stream of a post or article.  They are the children in the line repeating what was originally said at the beginning and just as with the statement in the line, it becomes distorted and eventually things devolve into a name calling argument among established “Internet Pundits of the Troll level”.  It’s how Steven Spielberg fell prey to simply posing on a movie set with a fake animatronic dinosaur.  If the first comment on that post had been something to the effect of “Nice photo from the Jurassic Park set”, I would be willing to bet that things would not have become so muddled so quickly.

So, is my original theory that Internet is a curse upon humanity true?  Honestly, I think only time will tell.  Compared to the universe, the human species has yet to enter adolescence.  We will struggle with everything as that’s how things get sorted out. We are still babies and the Internet is our diaper.

I wonder what will happen when that diaper is finally changed.

Happy Friday Everyone!

 

 

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