Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing is “For Sure” Anymore

There’s no such thing as a farfetched idea anymore, and people who are young enough to have grown up with the Internet don’t even know what the term, “farfetched idea” means. The Internet changed everything.

There was a time when certain ideas and beliefs were so preposterous that the vast majority of people rejected these notions, and the people who did actually believe the unbelievable were labeled as “crackpots.” Believing that the earth was flat, or that a new living man could be constructed from dead body parts, the crackpots, as portrayed in those early films, were usually old codgers who lived out beyond the edge of the hamlet until the townspeople eventually came at night like an invading army carrying fiery torches and pitchforks. But not anymore.

The townspeople don’t object to anything these days— even if you believe that Obama was born outside of the United States, or that childhood vaccines cause autism, or that 9/11 was orchestrated by the Bush administration, or that we need our gigantic military to defend America’s freedom, or that melting glacial and polar ice doesn’t equate with a temperature increase, or that the Apollo lunar landings were staged here on earth, or that America can “drill baby drill” its way to energy independence, or that the entire American economy and foreign policy has always been controlled by a tiny cabal of ultra-powerful men who operate in secrecy off the radar of the public and the media.

Pick your own paranoia and wrap it into a crackpot theory. The townspeople will never come for you with torches and pitchforks because you’re no longer alone, no matter what you believe. Thanks to the Internet, any person with any idea or belief whatsoever can connect with other people of a similar mind. This builds a coalition of like-minded activists who soon become numerous enough to be classified as a real honest-to-goodness minority group. And as everyone knows, it’s unthinkable to question the beliefs of a minority group. This is why there are two sides to every issue, and I do mean EVERY issue. Nothing is “for sure” anymore.

The problem is, real life has a one-sided reality to it that can’t be changed by contrary belief.

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