brian

I’ve just about had it.

If just one more person demands that I watch the latest YouTube news “exposé” about Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci, the World Health Organization, a secret Chinese lab and The Big Lie — all those things the lamestream media won’t tell you! — I will have to start pruning the Facebook “friends” tree.

I get them all day long on my feed, issued with warnings that hint at the sinister workings behind YouTube, Facebook, Snopes, the medical community and people who read and believe the New York Times, all in cahoots to establish a common currency, shrink the population, inject the survivors with microchips and then take away our guns.

It’s like the bottom half of my high school class ranking is finally rising up.

They don’t know that YouTube is not news.

YouTube is a neutral publisher of user-generated content, almost entirely detached from real accountability for what it chooses to publish. There are very few value judgments in YouTube’s algorithm, and any attempts to control the messages — as the “Plandemic” bullshit and the two grifter doctors from Bakersfield demonstrate — are largely futile.

The believers all say the same thing: “Just watch it,” assured that I will be convinced in the same way they have been. But they have been duped by one of the oldest tricks in the book: the Gish Gallop.

Basically, if you can pack more than 100 lies into a single premise, it takes longer to fact-check than it does to watch the stupid video in the first place. And if you want to believe it, a path of least resistance is there for the taking.

There’s a sociological concept that discerns between the information rich and the information poor. It is not a differentiation set along socioeconomic lines, although that plays a part. Early theorists posited that this dividing line would dictate the terms of the 21st Century.

These were futurists, writing decades ago. They could not have foreseen the digital age as we know it today. And they never accounted for a fatal flaw in the marketplace of ideas: People will discard accurate information if they don’t want to believe it.

Here’s a pro tip: Read your news.

It’s impossible to be drowned in a firehose of misinformation when you control the pace at which you take in the information. In print, you can stop and run a quick fact-check on your phone. Reputable news organizations will include links to source documents or details on reporting. A real news story will have the name of an actual human behind it, one who will likely respond to your emails. And if an actual news organization gets something wrong, we are obliged — ethically and, often, legally — to correct the record.

In the new marketplace of ideas, it doesn’t cost much to be rich. But you have to make the intellectual effort to cash in.

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