Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yet Another Crisis That Never Happened

It seems another deadline that never was has passed. Last week there was a lot of talk about a virus that had infected a large amount of computers. As I understand it you would be directed towards certain web addresses or not where you wanted to go. The FBI had been investigating the people behind it (there was a way to make money from it) and for a time had servers up that would allow you to be able to use your computer on the Internet. On Monday they decided to take the servers down meaning if infected you would lose your Internet browsing ability. It's all over my head as far as the details on how something like this works.

Anyway, the FBI was predicting tens of thousands of computers in the U.S. alone would be affected. Of course they wanted you to get your computer taken care of before they shut down the servers but what struck me was the media doom and gloom frenzy that followed. Much like the Y2K debacle that never materialized not much happened on Monday. The results were not earth shattering, no businesses were shut down, no home computer users went crazy (to my knowledge) after losing their browsing capability and no government offices were affected.

So basically it was a case of much ado over nothing which is what I felt would happen, uhh or not happen in this instance. It seems like this is occurring more and more these days. Somebody will report something and the media jumps all over it without so much as doing a smattering of fact checking. Before you know it people believe what they are told, after all, they saw it on t.v. or read it on the Internet so it must be true. This way stupidity keeps breeding stupidity no matter what the truth is.

Case in point, the Mayan calendar ending. Some person speculated that this meant the end of times even though there was nothing to back this theory up. The world would end (perhaps to start over) on December 21st, 2012. One after another the news services starting reporting this as if it were a fact. Never mind that there is a difference of at least several months in how we have adjusted time which means that date cannot be correct. There's just nothing else to back up this belief. Oh yeah, and since then more Mayan calendars have been found that refute this theory of them predicting the end of the world.

Whenever I hear this type of poorly researched garbage being trolled about in the media I take it with a grain of salt and keep on doing what I am doing. So far none of it has rung true to me, it all seems to be sensationalized manure and I instinctively disbelieve it. It just amazes me how much effort is put into disseminating false beliefs in an effort to stir people up and get better ratings. The days of objective, fact based news reporting by the mainstream news media are long gone, if they ever really existed. None of them care about getting it right, they just want a sexy, exciting story that gets their name bandied about. I guess all attention is good attention no matter how poorly they do their jobs. I'll just keep on disbelieving the majority of what they say and life will go on.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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