Friday, 16 December 2016

Netflix Binge: Lying and Disinformation

So I'm binge watching documentaries in Netflix (worth the monthly subscription!), and there are a lot of my top picks that I want to share! This post features films about lying and the spread of disinformation in the digital age.

(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies explores the human tendency of lying, interweaving social experiments by behavioural scientists Dan Ariely and his team, with interviews of (remorsed) people who were in scandals of varying notoriety. It follows the art of deception from animal evolution to human creativity; from individual rationalization to conformed social acceptance; from guilty white lies to numbed and distant criminal activities. Perhaps understanding the science of being dishonest can explain why people are still capable of spreading lies, despite access to information and technology should make it easier to prevent lying...

...Which leads us to Merchants of Doubt from the book with the subtitle "How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming". The subtitle says it all, but perhaps it's worth noting that despite exposes on propaganda and other sinister disinformation tactics, the art of lying also gets more sophisticated and its consequences more widespread.

I guess the best way to shield oneself from the lies and deceit is to fight ignorance coupled with a strong moral code. Even if the smartest person can know everything, if he falls back to basic human flaws and tribal norms, he becomes a victim and a tool for The Spread Of Ignorance.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

9/11 Truth (And Materials That Makes You Less Ignorant)

Published and peer-viewed paper "What Did and Did not Cause Collapseof WTC Twin Towers in New York" done by structural engineers. Basically, they are saying that yes, it was the airplanes.

Popular Mechanics also published a book on 9/11. (I may buy it ^_^ Amazon wishlist?) (by my idol Michael Schermer) has a comprehensive article about 9/11. The author, Chris Mohr, also has a YouTube playlist to go together with this article, so go check it out!

Finally, confessions of a "Truther" in and I quote: "I cracked and broke down in tears. It was the true human emotion of a mother who lost her kid that changed me. The others believed it was a fake recording and that she was in on it. It was the monstrous ugliness of the other theorists which set me on edge. I'm made to believe they're all a part of the 10,000-man-strong Illuminati? I said to the producers on day five, 'I've changed my mind.'"

Respect victims. The world is not obligated to make sense to you, and have to make you smart and know everything.