Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fooling around

I haven't commented on the latest Bigfoot hoax, but this National Geographic story makes me realize that, even though it's not political, it tickles many of my underlying themes.

Choosing to believe bullshit

Most people believe what they choose to believe. That alone is enough to explain why Duhbya is President and why someone as detached from reality as John McCain still might possibly succeed him. Voters don't reason from facts. They choose factoids that satisfy their needs and braille their way to a non-rational conclusion. It's funny that the very people who most resent the family relationships of humans to other animals also most exhibit reliance on instinct over reason.

Purveyors of bullshit thus have an audience that is not only willing but eager. The so-called experts burned a "hair" off the ape suit and found that it burned like a synthetic, petroleum-based fiber instead of like a hair, but they didn't say anything about it until after the hoax was exposed. They didn't follow the facts until they had to.


The so-called experts also waited for the ape suit to thaw and didn't have the smarts to do any definitive testing. They must have been trying to confirm the bullshit instead of falsifying it.

If it lies on the ground like bullshit and smells like bullshit and contains masticated grass like bullshit, it probably is bullshit. At best, it may have been adulterated with possum guts.


The Montauk Monster is another good case. This is not about Georgia hicks. It's about New Yorkers who think they're sophisticated and not taken in by the bullshit that might fool a rural American. No surprise that Fox News is front and center. Is there any truth to the rumor that Neal Cavuto is related to this monster?

The press is useless in sorting out bullshit, though they will report when someone else sorts it out. Sometimes.

This is why creationism (hellooo, Sarah Palin) and ancient astronauts and astrology and fundamentalist religion are dangerous. They make us fall for obviously stupid claims. Meanwhile, the Chinese are working on stuff that actually matter.

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