Disinformation or Misinformation – You Choose
Recently scientists with nothing better to do than make stupid science jokes calculated that the earth hols approximately 20 quadrillion ants. That’s a lot of zeroes, fifteen to be exact, and a lot of critters. And some really bored scientists. It’s also an interesting piece of information.
According to the article, for every human alive on the planet, there are roughly 2.5 million ants. When I read that nugget of info, I thought this must be some kind of misinformation created by the cabal of chemical companies that sell pest control products like Raid or the Pop Tarts I so fondly consume like a junkie.
My next thought wandered and meandered for a bit before it settled on the war atrocities in Ukraine. Wouldn’t it be great if we could take maybe 100 million of those ants and smother them all over that psychopath Putin after having been dipped in dark molasses. It should would make for some great reality TV as well an Internet meme.
The Source of Mis- and Disinformation
After all, one cannot think of that war, and its absurd, cruel justification, without coming across the words misinformation and/or disinformation. Sure, you could use the word “lies” but that would mean I have to rewrite the title of this blog and it’s too late in the day for that.
Where and when did misinformation and disinformation start? Was it in the time of the cavemen? Sorry, cave people – I wouldn’t want to offend their powerful media lobby. There were certainly cave women, cave children and no doubt sexually ambiguous cave people. Then again with all that body hair and animal furs, how could you tell one caveman apart from another? But I digress.
No one knows for sure where and when disinformation started. Some historians believe that disinformation started about 315,000 years ago in per-historic times when a Neanderthal named Unk in cave 36b told his mate Gwendolyn he spends his Sunday nights down by the river fishing and contemplating the meaning of life. In reality, he would double-back and go to cave 17 to play poker with the boys and watch strippers. Poor Neanderthals — always getting a bad rap — lots of misinformation about them out there.
What Information Is True?
Since we as media-consuming modern people no longer can tell if a story, an article, a news report or a Bugs Bunny cartoon is genuinely true, and not some made up story meant to confuse us while the Russians try to sell us expired borscht, how do we know what to believe? What information is actually true?
Here is my advice:
- If someone with an eye patch and a limp named Manny says “here, eat this, it’s fresh”, be very careful.
- If the story you’re reading online is authored by someone named Vladimir P. or Donald J. T., take heed.
- If you’re financial advisor says “You’ll make a killing with crypto! Trust me” then run away and call the police.
That’s about all the wisdom I can spare.
Wishing you peace, joy and a year’ supply of fresh danish.
Utu the Powerful