the-internet-is-compromised

Anons...

As per the poll results a good ¼th of you think I should be “nicer”…. I am not gonna make ANY extra effort for that. Not gonna do it on an internet blog; in real life I may have room to flex (not that much though), but on the internet fuck that compromising your own feelings and thoughts shit; I will say whatever the hell I want on the net, especially on MY blog, which I created JUST so that I can do that very thing: say what I think.

Good thing is no one is forcing you to read my thoughts, care about them or send asks to me. If you have a problem with what I say, then it is entirely YOUR problem, and the solution to that problem is you not coming here….You wanna express your own thoughts? Go have a blog then.

Also, I am not in need of any tumblr followers. I have more than enough to keep things going. I don’t need 4 times more than what I have. So, I am not going to cater to your needs of what i need to say or how i need to say it.

Misha’s so cute spending time at little coffee shops. oh my god I’m blushing just thinking about him sitting in a big leather chair with a cup of tea or coffee with his legs crossed so you can see part of his stripey socks and he’s just on his MacBook being a dweeb on the Internet oh my god I’m compromised

Time for a story - Letting ourselves be surprised?

“You’re ready?” the doctor asked, holding the bottle of ultrasound gel, so it hovered over Felicity’s baby belly. Dr. Hampton waited until she nodded before he squeezed the bottle and let a bit of the cold gel drop onto Felicity’s stomach.

Felicity winced slightly at the sudden cold, and immediately Oliver’s free hand lifted to her hair, stroking it in what was probably supposed to be a comforting gesture. Oliver sat right next to the examination couch Felicity was lying on with the hem of her shirt pushed up over her belly. He held on of her hands in his, the other now stroking her hair. Although he seemed to believe that stroking her hair gave her comfort he obviously didn’t know she didn’t need, Felicity knew exactly that he tried to calm himself down with the even movement of his hand.

The closer Dr. Hampton’s hand that held the ultrasound scanner moved to her stomach now, the tighter Oliver’s grip on her hand was becoming. His eyes were focused on the doctor’s hand like it was holding the key to his life. The scanner still hadn’t touched Felicity’s skin when she half hissed, half whined, “Oliver, you’re breaking my hand.”

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Why It’s Important to Be An Internet Skeptic

I saw this article this morning and it struck a chord. Whether you’re a feminist, an anti-feminist, or ambivalent I think this is an important read. Key points edited for space:

The internet is making us dumber — here’s how we fight back

The longer I study human psychology, the more impressed I am with the rich tapestry of knowledge each of us owns. 

That’s the good news. The bad news is that our brains overdo it. Not only do they store helpful and essential information, they are also receptive to false belief and misinformation.

Better access doesn’t mean better information

This access to the Internet’s far reaches should permit us to be smarter and better informed. People certainly assume it. A recent Yale study showed that Internet access causes people to hold inflated, illusory impressions of just how smart and well-informed they are.

But there’s a twofold problem with the Internet that compromises its limitless promise.

First, just like our brains, it is receptive to misinformation. In fact, the World Economic Forum lists “massive digital misinformation” as a main threat to society. A survey of 50 “weight loss” websites found that only three provided sound diet advice.  Another of roughly 150 YouTube videos about vaccination found that only half explicitly supported the procedure.

Rumor-mongers, politicians, vested interests, a sensationalizing media and people with intellectual axes to grind all inject false information into the Internet.

So do a lot of well-intentioned but misinformed people. In fact, a study published in the January 2016 Proceedings of National Academy of Science documented just how quickly dubious conspiracy theories spread across the Internet. Specifically, the researchers compared how quickly these rumors spread across Facebook relative to stories on scientific discoveries. Both conspiracy theories and scientific news spread quickly, with the majority of diffusion via Facebook for both types of stories happening within a day.

Making matters worse, misinformation is hard to distinguish from accurate fact. It often has the exact look and feel as the truth. 

So, how so we separate Internet truth from the false?

First, don’t assume misinformation is obviously distinguishable from true information. Be careful. If the matter is important, perhaps you can start your search with the Internet; just don’t end there. Consult and consider other sources of authority. There is a reason why your doctor suffered medical school, why your financial advisor studied to gain that license.

Second, don’t do what conspiracy theorists did in the Facebook study. They readily spread stories that already fit their worldview. As such, they practiced confirmation bias, giving credence to evidence supporting what they already believed. As a consequence, the conspiracy theories they endorsed burrowed themselves into like-minded Facebook communities who rarely questioned their authenticity.

Instead, be a skeptic. Psychological research shows that groups designating one or two of its members to play devil’s advocates – questioning whatever conclusion the group is leaning toward – make for better-reasoned decisions of greater quality.

If no one else is around, it pays to be your own devil’s advocate. Don’t just believe what the Internet has to say; question it. Practice a disconfirmation bias. If you’re looking up medical information about a health problem, don’t stop at the first diagnosis that looks right. Search for alternative possibilities.

Seeking evidence to the contrary

In addition, look for ways in which that diagnosis might be wrong. Research shows that “considering the opposite” – actively asking how a conclusion might be wrong – is a valuable exercise for reducing unwarranted faith in a conclusion.

Misinformation and true information often look awfully alike. The key to an informed life may not require gathering information as much as it does challenging the ideas you already have or have recently encountered. This may be an unpleasant task, and an unending one, but it is the best way to ensure that your brainy intellectual tapestry sports only true colors.