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Monday, 24 September 2007

Take your internet with a Pinch of Salt


The free online dictionary defines the phrase "take something with a pinch of salt (British & Australian, American & Australian)
if you take what someone says with a pinch of salt, you do not completely believe it. You have to take everything she says with a pinch of salt. She has a tendency to exaggerate. It's interesting to read the reports in the newspapers, but I tend to take them with a grain of salt. "

I remember seeing an interview of young Muslim girls at a madrassah who stated as fact some obvious fallacy about western culture. The reporter asked her how she know this "fact" to which she replied that she had read it on the internet.

If it's on the internet it must be true? How can anyone believe that? How can anyone believe anything anymore? Well, to a discerning reader, one who has keen insight, reading falshoods online is part of the amusement and interest of the internet. To quote the song, "We all laughed at Christopher Columbus..." there once was a time when everybody believed that the world was flat and was at the center of the universe. How silly you looked, and risked so much, if you said you believed the world was round, or worse still, that the earth went around the sun.

Well does a photograph prove those thousand unbelieveable words? Yes and no.... I mean anyone can open up photoshop and doctor a photograph. Indeed the world's media are not above that sort of lie. I remember one photograph of Tony Blair which, it was later proved, had been modified to show a larger gap between him and someone else, implying some sort of rift between the two people. Subtle visual evidence used to "prove" the journalist's point of view.

Nor do these less-than-honest journalists have to physically modify photographs. If you take enough photographs of some poor politician you are bound to catch them with their mouths open, or yawning, or even picking their noses. So when the left leaning media want to denigrate these public figures.... you guessed it, another photograph of George W. picking his nose or whatever. You can't imagine the photo editor at the New York Times publishing a photo of George W smiling when they're criticising him.

So what if the world is flat? What if two and two make five? It must be true, I read it on the internet.....

Have a pinch of salt from me... after all I read the other day some guy has won the world lying championship five times running, or so he says.


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