When studying famous geeks, it is interesting to see how some inventors and scientists rise to the level of cult heroes, while others are totally forgotten. There are times where it appears that the Internet has given birth to the World Wide Weird with all the myths and legends.
I started frequenting Quora about a year ago to get ideas for my Geek History website. The question and answer website Quora allows users to ask questions that are answered by its community of users. I wanted to see what kind of questions were typically being asked. There is so much hype and misinformation there, especially on topics like inventor Nikola Tesla, who is worshiped there like a god.
The cult hero status of Tesla on Quora is amazing. I recently asked someone who was not a regular on Quora to visit Quora specifically to look at all the questions on Tesla, and he was amazed with all the questions, as well as all the mis-information being presented.
The fascination with Nikola Tesla may appear to be a more recent event on the internet because of sites like Quora, but that is in the context of the internet itself being a relatively new vehicle to discuss mysteries and conspiracy theories. Many of the myths and legends that many websites now present as new discoveries of lost information have been around awhile.
The history of strange science
I have been interested in science and science fiction since the 1970s. Different topics seem to rise and fall from time to time over the years. Topics such as UFOs and conspiracy theories that I remember from various popular books and magazines in the 1970s and 1980s, are now being created as websites on the internet.
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.
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