Source, Please

The Internet Credo:

OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: While discussing THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY…

Skepticism is a good thing in a medium fraught with lies like the internet, but skepticism means finding out the truth for yourself. Sitting on your ass whining for a source is not learning for yourself. It’s just lazy.

You should only ask for a source after you try to learn the truth for yourself and come up empty handed.

It’s true that the Internet is full of falsity, but the reason that is tolerated is because it is mostly open to discovery. It is a huge social experiment in the free market of information, to see whether the most open and decentralized system humanity can invent will actually result in an ideal market for information, and thus for other things, such as economic goods, political stability, or social justice. More likely, it will simply result in a human-developed-but-not-directed version of evolution by natural selection.

The problem arises where there is an assumption that the “truth” is known or is easily discoverable, or will naturally emerge as the strongest contender, in a system full of struggling, non-omnipotent, non-omniscient, contingent entities. Web forums demonstrate how a kind of social truth develops, an assumption of basic knowledge that defines entry and status in the group. Blogs tend to demonstrate faith in emergent truth, unless the blogger is totally solipsistic and arrogant, in which case the truth of their soulless egoism emerges.

But the only absolute truths on the Internet are truths about its functionality and its hardware backbone, things that may be ignored or faked, but only for people who are so totally immersed in the system that it doesn’t matter to them, which doesn’t change the truth of it. In other words, there are truths that supervene upon whatever “facts” may be found in the Internet, because they are independent of it, being determined by forces that are independent of it, and directed by beings who think independently of it.

Curiously enough, this is a demonstration of why ideas do not have consequences, that is, why any particular intangible fact (an idea) does not necessitate a tangible event. If there arose an Internet meme that Martians are using Coca-Cola molecules to configure Web protocols, that “idea” might have massive social consequences as netizens structured their entire lives around it, but it would have no effect on the actual function of the Internet, unless some Martians were thereby inspired to try implementing it, or some Earthmen were inspired to implement countermeasures.

So, only by the will of someone acting in meatspace would such an idea have any consequence that is not imaginary. But, sure, there could be lots of imaginary consequences, or lots of “consequences” that happen only on the Internet.

For those who have ears to hear, let them hear: The wrath of the engineer is revealed from tech support against all un-nerdiness and non-spec usage of men who suppress the truth in non-spec usage, because that which is known about the engineer is evident among them; for the engineer made it evident to them. For since the creation of the Internet, the engineer’s invisible attributes, his technical power and nerd nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew the engineer, they did not honor him as the engineer or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

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