I have been researching many urban legends, trying to find out how they started. I look at the various myths and legends looking for an element of truth in what is an essentially false theory. It amazes me how many often published success stories, alleged quotes by famous people, and various other bits of knowledge accepted as fact, are based on internet mythology.
In the case of many urban legends, all it takes is one popular website to make a statement, without any reference to any specific time or place to put the statement into context, and the story gets a million hits. Then a dozen popular blogs quote that statement as their reference and write about it, and the statement becomes legendary. Then you "Google it" and there are ten websites that tell you this statement is true.
The phrase "truth by consensus" describes the philosophical theory of taking statements to be true simply because people generally agree upon them. Well if Google says it's true, it must be! The internet doesn't lie, does it?
We explore the origins of myths and legends
With the goal of seeking the truth and exposing the false conspiracies, the Tao of Questy will continue to be our home for commentary on current events and the rants of the day. Some people are too blind to see through the myths, others will blame the internet for all that is wrong in the world. I write about things where I spend a lot of time gathering information. I can assure you that anything I have written is based on verification of facts from a source as close to the events and individuals as possible or multiple sources of information from leading publications or references.
There are times I question the value of online worlds like Facebook. On one hand Facebook is a very cool communications tool. I keep in touch with former coworkers, as I see them post updates as they celebrate the holidays with their friends and family. From time to time I have someone find me who I have not seen in many years, so I can reflect on just how old I am, and realize, damn I'm getting old.
But for all the cool things I can say about Facebook, the interaction of personal updates with friends and family is getting drowned out more and more by the Facebook memes with political and social agendas. If you want to talk about politics or religion, I am cool with that. But please, don't bombard me with thirty second solutions to all the problems of society. In the case of the social media memes, the battle back and forth comes down to one point that will decide everything. I could come up with many examples, here are just a few.
Meme #1: Gun Control
The cute cartoons and sound bites of statistics tell me if only we could better regulate guns, mass violence would go away because crazy people and assorted lunatics would not have access to the tools that kill us. I understand guns kill, and I understand the need to regulate them. I also was trained as a nuclear biological and chemical defense specialist in the military. I was amazed at all the ways someone could kill you if they really wanted.
One of the largest attacks of terror on American soil by a home grown terrorist was committed by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995, who used a truck load of fertilizer at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explosion killed 168 people and injured over 600 others.
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