There's a Facebook thread going on right now, as we speak. In it, several highly enthusiastic dudes are arguing about whether or not to believe random information they find on the internet.
"But this could have been written by anyone!" said Dude One.
"No, no," said Dude Two, "the article links right to the source of the information, and it explains everything."
"But the source is the random person's blog who wrote it in the first place!" yelled Dude One.
"Yes," said Dude Three, scrunching up his face into a conspiratorial scowl, "but remember that jet fuel can't melt steel beams."
"I feel," said Dude One with a sigh, "that until a claim is investigated and explained by an unbiased source who's forced to be accountable for their reporting, and not a random blogger, that it's not a great idea to believe just anything you read on the Internet."
"You're making an ad hominem attack against this blogger," said Dude Two. "You just hate him and want his whole family to die, along his pet snake, Lucius."
"I'm making an educated claim about vetting sources that should be impressed upon all students of any kindergarten class around the world," said Dude One.
"Yes," said Dude Three, "but kindergartens are the Establishment. And most of the truth now comes from the Not Establishment."
"I don't care where you're from," said Dude One. "If you have actual evidence to support your claim, that's what's important. And, in that case, your story will be picked up and investigated by a legitimate news outlet who will review and verify your evidence. Peer review is not only important in science."
"But here are some more random blog pieces that could have been written by anyone at all, that also have a clear agenda to further these unsubstantiated claims," said Dude Two. "Just look."
"These also could have been written by anyone," said Dude One in confirmation. "I'm beginning to doubt that you two Dudes understand how the internet works."
"The internet is a thought form upon which all realities and sub-realities may exist simultaneously, thus turning us all into what Hawking referred to as the singularity," said Dude Three.
"I think that you may be confusing black holes, artificial intelligence, and also just plain regular intelligence," said Dude One.
Dudes One and Two: "Dude One, you are Hitler, and have always been Hitler, and your family is Hitler, including your pet snake, Lucius."
"You know," said Dude One, "the fact that you so ardently defend an unsubstantiated claim is exactly what this outlet is depending on, because they're making a lot of money from people like you through content marketing and affiliate advertising."
"But if I do not blatantly ignore any insider expertise or awareness that you possess, how will I continue to believe unsubstantiated claims on the internet?" asked Dude Two.
"You wouldn't," said Dude one.
"Oh," said Dude Two. "Then I reject your reasoning and your family all over again, and your pet snake Lucius doubly so."
"I don't have a pet snake named Lucius," said Dude One.
"Nonsense," said Dude Two. "I read on the internet that you did."
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