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Urgent! This is an Important Must Read Thread!!

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posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:47 AM
Once upon a time, there was a young shepherd boy who became very bored, so he grabbed his lap top and began furiously typing in a frantic manner; "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!"

Several of the loyal users of a respected site came to the young shepherd boys aid, entering into his thread of desperate pleas for help, but once entering the thread they discovered that there was no wolf.

Many of the users admonished the young shepherd boy and posted their grumbles and complaints telling the young shepherd boy that he shouldn't cry wolf when there is no wolf.

But the little shepherd boy, being a bright illuminaughty, naughty, naughty boy couldn't resist a few hours later after reaching boredom again, and once again furiously typed; "Wolf! Wolf! There is a wolf chasing the sheep!"

Once again the users of the popular site came running to the naughty boys aid, only to discover they'd been had once again. Sternly, many of the members, even some of the moderators warned the naughty, naughty little boy to only cry wolf when there actually was a wolf.

The bright naughty, illiminaughty, naughty boy only grinned, feeling comfortably safe and sound behind his avatar and user name, and snidely smirked as the older users left his thread grumbling all the way.

However, while many of the users suspected that this shepherd boy was really just a government plant, a disinfo agent whose aim was to unbalance the unity among serious villagers of the world wide web whose aim was that of the greater good, this naughty, naughty little boy was not any disinfo agent, not even an MK Ultra sleeper, and certainly not a government agent, he was just a silly, naughty little boy who thought it funny to cry wolf when there was no wolf...until...

A few hours later some government agents came knocking at the door of this naughty, naughty, little shepherd boy who was possibly downloading undownloadables, or maybe hacking into to highly classified sites, or possibly just shepherding all the lonely sheeple. For whatever reasons, this silly little shepherd boy had attracted the attention of big bad government agents who demanded to be let in or they would huff and puff and blow the little shepherd boys house down.

In a total panic, and understandably so, the naughty little shepherd boy posted in his thread and screamed for help, telling whomever would listen that there was a big bad wolf at his door and about to yank him out of his house by his chinny, chin, chin. (Beyond crying wolf, this little shepherd boy was fond of mixing metaphors).

Sadly, the members of the site in which he kept his thread ignored him this time, because these were seasoned users, and well aware of the axiom; "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me", and all ready being fooled twice, there was no way they were willing to go for thrice.

So, the big bad government agents yanked the naughty, naughty, illiminaughty shepherd boy from his home by the hairs of his chinny, chin, chin, and took him away.

As days went by, the users of the popular site began to notice that the precocious little shepherd boy had not been around lately and wondered where he was. Of course, they would never know, because he had been carted off - under the provisions of the Patriot Act - and held indifinitely as a prisoner without any right to any due process of law.

What is the moral to this story? One might say that the moral to the story is that no one believes a liar, even when they tell the truth, and indeed, that would be a good moral..a good lesson. But, in this so called "age of information" how are we to actually know what is a lie, and what is the truth? Some would call it the age of information, but wiser souls tend to see it as the age of disinformation.

Perhaps it is best we see this age as the age of data overload. We are bombarded with data, and among this data is an ideological war for the minds of all the lonely sheeple. Academics will study this and while virtually wringing their hands declare that we have gained "too much freedom" in our ability to choose the data we digest. Well respected credentialed academics with political appointments to highly respected alphabet agencies come up with theories about all of this, and one has even coined a phrase "egocasting" to describe this "too much freedom" in digesting data.

Do we have "too much freedom" when it comes to the data we choose to rely upon to form our decision making? Do we have a responsibility to look beyond our own biases and read and watch viewpoints not in agreement with our own? Does taking the time to read, listen and watch viewpoints not in agreement with our own actually expand our consciousness, or does it simply just clutter it with pointless rhetoric?

Even if we do make the time to digest as much data as humanly possible, how do we possibly separate the truth from the lies. For those of you who have come to know me in this site (as best as anyone can possibly come to know a guy who uses a bogus user name and writes as if he is wiser than he truly is - or not, depending upon your point of view), some of you have come to know my genuine frustration with what I consider the misuse of the word "myth". The myth of the the word myth is that a myth is simply a story, usually told to describe origins of the earth, or universe, and often told to relay tales of reluctant heroes who face incredible odds and are either victorious in facing their demons, or felled by their own hubris, but increasingly the word is used to be equated with falsehood. My frustration with this is that there is a power to the myth - especially the reluctant hero myth - in that it serves as a source of inspiration and even a guide or life lesson. When myth becomes nothing more than a falsehood, then the inspiration of genuine heroism - those actions where an individual accepts more than just responsibility for his own actions, but responsibility for the many - becomes a falsehood as well.

Yet, the internet is filled with sites that diligently endeavor to battle disinformation by declaring that disinformation a myth. How ironic is that? Equating the word myth with falsehood is disinformation in itself! What the hell would be so wrong with using the word lie instead? Instead of the myths about "Obama care" why not just title it The Lies That are Being Told About "Obama Care"? Instead of the myths about AIDS, why not title it the Lies We're Told About AIDS? Instead of the myths about 9/11 why not title it The Lies Told About 9/11? In my not so humble opinion, the word lie seems to have more power than what strikes me as the much more gentile word myth as an equivalence to falsehood.

We face a lexicon that is filled with words that have become so bastardized, so diluted, and so strayed from their original meaning, it is no wonder we argue with each other so much. How can we expect to effectively communicate when we can't even agree on what a goddamned word means? What is the truth of a word? "Words, words, words" as Hamlet would answer to the question; "what is the matter?", and as Shakespeare would say; "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Of course, a rose, with all its thorns does smell sweet, but what does the letter A smell like? It has no smell, no texture to feel, only its visibility as an A, and as Aristotle would say; "A is A", which is really nothing more than rhetoric. Admittedly damn good rhetoric, but what the hell does it really mean?

Of course, what Aristotle means is that this is this, and that is that, and whether it be by agreement that we call this this, and that that, or by some other design, it does not good to pretend that this is that, and that is this. See what I mean? It's really just rhetoric. A table is a table, even when we sit upon it, and it would be pointless to ask someone to set your dinner plate on the chair just because you always sit upon the table, unless, of course, all have agreed that the table you sit upon is, for all intents and purposes a chair. The point in declaring A is A is an attempt to be more objective about the world we live in, in spite of our own inherent subjectivity. We can never truly be objective, as we can never know the table from all angles at all times, and yet, some will argue that we can be objective about certain things. Take the sun, for example, we can reasonably know that the sun will rise each morning and set each night, and call this objectivity, even though the sun, objectively speaking does not rise nor does it set, it doesn't even orbit, or if it does, it certainly doesn't orbit the earth, quite the contrary, the perception of a rising and setting sun is caused by the earth orbiting the sun.

Even so, try we must, as Yoda might put it, objectively as we can be. This attempt at objectivity is a part of critical thinking we need to increasingly rely on if we are ever to survive the plethora of data that is either information, or disinformation. We can "egocast" all we want, and what the hell is wrong with that? Why is a remote control, and control of choice on the internet any different than the books and magazines we choose in a a library or bookstore? How were we not egocasting when we only had three channels to choose from on television, and fewer movies to see? We still always had the choice to not watch or read, and to choose what we read and saw.

Indeed, "egocasting" is some academic's - Cass Sunstein to be exact - idea of erudition, when all it truly is his own personal "egocasting" based upon his choices of data digested and believed. How hard has Sunstein worked at his critical thinking skills? How objective is he being when he argues that democracy faces great peril when we "allow" too much "consumer choice"? Some will read, or listen to Sunstein and nod their heads in vigorous agreement and think that FOX News has to go, or that CNBC has to go, or that Alex Jones should be drug out into a dark alley with Glenn Beck and both of them shot. Others will read, or listen to Sunstein and think that maybe he should be drug out into a dark alley and shot. Some will have never even heard of Cass Sunstein and wonder what all the goddamn fuss is about.

What is all this fuss about? Just what the hell is so urgent, important and a must read that we feel compelled to tag the title of a thread with these words? Are we all either just consumers or marketers? Is marketing all its cracked up to be, or is it just cracked? There are axioms in business designed to maximize the profitability of a business. One of the axioms of business is location, location, location, and while using words such as Urgent! and Important Must Read Thread!!, may be useful marketing terms designed to draw the maximum traffic to this thread, it is thread written by a writer with a proclivity toward verbosity which is not all that marketable in a Tweet filled world wide web, and more importantly, there is the axiom location, location, location. In terms of the internet, and this site, it is now 5:12 am on a Saturday and by the time I post this it will probably be somewhere around 6am Pacific Standard Time. As far as time goes this is not the best location to open a thread in, or at least from what I can gather, and all things considered, given the nature, verbosity and time frame of this thread, it is fairly predictable it will die a quick death, and maybe find signs of life from some loyal friends who deem this thread worthy of a bump or two.

Have I lied to the members of ATS by screaming Urgent! This is an Important Must Read Thread!!, or am I being honest? I am, after all, American, and we are increasingly becoming seen as a country of big ass liars. In this site we have a forum dedicated to the big ass liars Americans can be called U.S. Political Madness, and we are a nation who generally file tax returns each year and sign those tax returns under penalty of perjury, that all the above is true and correct, but it has been said that the income tax has made us a nation of liars...or actually, if I am to attribute the quote, and quote it precisely, Will Rogers once said; "The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr.", but here's the thing; it's not as if I heard Will Rogers say that, nor have I read it from any of his notes, letters, or autobiography, and I got this quote off of an internet site, so am I quoting Will Rogers, or am I quoting an internet site who has attributed this phrase to Will Rogers?

Herein lies one of the big ass problems in this day and age of "information". Time Magazine tells me that Rand Paul "Misquotes" Thomas Jefferson, but then informs me that Rand Paul actually mis-attributed to Jefferson a quote actually written by Henry David Thoreau. The quote is; "That government is best that governs least.", and all I can do is take Time's word for it that Rand Paul misattributed this quote to Jefferson, even though in order to take Time's word for it I have to look past the fact that they titled this "news" item as being a "misquote". A misquote is generally understood to mean that the quote itself has been inaccurately quoted, not misattributed, but apparently Rand got the quote right, just got its author wrong.

The internet is rife with misattributed quotations, and even sites that pride themselves on being the go to source for quotations will attribute quotes to people where no reference can be found to verify that that person was that actual author or speaker of the quote. Anyone who has ever taken the time to actually verify the source or find a reference that might help to verify a quote knows full well what a pain in the ass that can be in some areas, such as quotes attributed to the founding fathers, particularly quotes regarding divisive political issues. It may look impressive to attribute a phrase that agrees with ones political bent to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, but some of these quotes being attributed to them don't even sound like them, in terms of the language of their times and their personal styles. Of course, one would actually have to be familiar with their language and style in order to know that, and that is just a whole lot more work.

Then there is the problem of quotes that are not necessarily misquoted, nor are they misattributed to the author, just taken out of context so as to render the quote a lie. These type of out of context quotes may as well be misquotes. Being a critical thinker is no easy gig, to say the least. It is, however, a necessary skill in this day and age, perhaps in any age, but in this day in age, one might reasonably argue that it is not just necessary, but that it is Urgent! Important and a Must!!

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:57 AM
I have one rule of thumb on this site, just say the truth. Best way, then you can later not be brought up on telling something wrong later.

All the stuff they have done to me for the most part i have wrote about here except more personal stuff.

On topic, how do you guys not accept when someone like me come son here telling a strange story about the world we live that is in fact true, but because of all the other people trolling here, you take it as lies. Shows how they control information doesn't it.

Yep critical thinking is important, but also not being so closed minded you ignore a story like mine and others, plus other stories may also be true, but we choose to ignore as we know the gov and police are out there covering there crimes.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 08:02 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

An interesting read and take on information today..

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 08:04 AM
Is that you Andy Rooney ?

Seriously though , your thread title did indeed catch my eye , but I was not going to read it until I saw who the author was .

And although I get your point , I'm sure it will go over the heads of most of those here .

Always enjoy your words of wisdom and insight , keep up the good work .

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 08:19 AM
Jean Paul,
As usual, a thought provoking as well as mind twisting opinion that is on target. Loved it, thanks!


posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 08:19 AM
when you and I believe a lie
a myth is here for all to try
if you and I doubt a fact
a myth it is to be exact

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 08:40 AM
im one of those reading this in pacific time and i must say that i enjoyed the read and it spurred much thought

had i scrolled first and seen the size of the post i probably would have had my usual reaction and skipped it but im glad that i did not

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:46 AM
Good thing this excellent piece was in the forum that it's in. Otherwise, chances are 50-50 that I would never have ventured in here at all, and then look what I would have missed! And, see, it bothers me that I almost made the decision to not come in. We do have a responsibility to look beyond out own biases—even biases against poorly worded titles and headlines or people with a penchant for the dramatic or for egocasting. Just as the people who pick up these habits, for whatever the reasons, risk alienating and desensitizing others, we take the equal risk of missing vital information if we do begin to avoid and ignore them, no matter how natural a reaction that might be. Thanks for the reminder..

P.S. Illiminaughty

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 10:22 AM
and now a question for Jean Paul:

Was the wolf story just a metaphor
or are you really aware of an ATS
user that has been carted off??

The reason why I ask this is because
airspoon has been missing almost 6 weeks.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 12:10 PM
The title was alluring, but I could not assess what I would have missed or dismissed without first looking at the initial paragraph. Excellent! I was hooked immediately! I loved it, and it not only was "food" for my weary brain, it was enough energy to sustain me through the thoughts of what science wants to label as "suspect", good or bad, as far as information.

The fact is, yes, America is nothing but a bunch of big fat ass liars (I added a bit of fat to it); it is just the little lie, the attention seeking or the "spinning" that makes things more appealing to Americans. Personally I try my best not to embellish my thoughts and certainly I try not to participate in trying to make someone lean towards my views with misrepresented falsehoods (purposely that is); instead I would prefer to match up with similar minds rather than debate a subject. I am guilty of sometimes saying something in a joking manner however sarcasm is hard to read depending on the arena. I like to joke and I like to bring cheer, even though I think I am the most doomy person I know.

I guess knowing that everything is a half-truth and that illusions have more truth though the illusion I would say that we are screwed as a Society. There is no way we can ever reveal the true extent of the path of the liar because the sources are many and the intent is incalculable. Does someone lie because they are paid to, or, are they doing it just to get back at living a lie forced by others? Who knows, but a lie is a lie and when it all comes down to it a lie only degrades the user. Ultimately we die and the information is purged, what is left is the shard of which we nurtured.

I like the idea that people can be responsible for their own behavior, but it isn't showing itself to be true or feasible. Maybe one day but not today. I just think it is utterly important for information to remain available to each and every one of us on this Globe so that at least one person makes sense!

You, Dear OP, you made very good sense, Thank you!
edit on 2/5/2011 by Greensage because: every one, not everyone

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 01:35 PM
Very nice.

To be sure, it is quite a task to survive in the information arena.

One aspect that could be mentioned further in your article, is Intuition.

Can we rely on it?

I say we have to, otherwise we are without a compass in the numbing swamps of marketed information.

Great read, JPZ, and very sobering.

It should be a 'sticky' thread or something like that...

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 02:11 PM
Interesting that you equate this age old story to the INTERNET, we live in an era where we no longer see most people face to face and in most cases we could tell if someone was lying by body language and eye contact,

I think critical thinking has been thrown out in our schools and universities, they don't want us to think or ask too many questions, they all have their own agenda, plus it isn't taught, on the other hand those who are honestly looking for truth will find it one way or another.

Using ATS as an example, I read posts everyday that make me rolls my eyes and wonder where this or that person is coming from. Many who don't know the answers cannot be bothered to do the research, isn't that a form of lying? The good news is along with that we have many great writers and critical thinkers on ATS which makes it worthwhile coming here everyday.

When I see something that I know is not the truth I call it what is it is, a lie, this so called myth phenomenon seems to be a word that is used more today then in the past when it was created. Our great Philosophers told more truth then Myth and in my opinion were very prophetic,

Excellent thread, thank you so much my friend for bringing us this important information that is needed by all.


posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

"A liar will not be believed even when he tells the truth." Sage words.
And speaking of the use and misuse of words, one of the biggest problems we have is the entanglement of words that sound the same, are sometimes spelled the same and yet have a world of difference in application between the common English usage and the foreign language of Legalese.

Take for example, the word "including". The average person would assume that to "include" means "in addition to". However, in the trickery and deceptive legal terms of Legalese, the word "include" actually means "limited to". Imagine! The exact opposite of the common English meaning.

I can very well understand your rant when people attempt to change the meaning of a word like "myth" which indicates "a metaphorical illustration" to give it a new connotation as meaning "a lie".

However, if you sit down with a legal dictionary (which I believe you most probably have done at length) it is cause for a rant with even stronger profanity.

Excellent post and timely words of warning and contemplation. Star and flag, my friend.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 04:21 PM
I could comment, but i won't. Does it matter that I have done?
It doesn't matter that I haven't?
I touch the nothing. That is nothing.
I am feeling the all that is nothing.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 05:17 PM
Great words Op,
I too was going to overlook this thread due to it's size and has also caused me to re-evaluate my bias in that respect.
It certainly is an information minefield out there and we must all re-learn critical thinking, unfortunately our education/indoctrination systems drum this ability out of all but a few...myself included I feel at times.
But for me personally I follow my instinct and intuition as much as possible and let the click of the mouse be my compass in this modern day library of Alexandria.
The truth is a hard thing to find and we may never really get to it or even like it when we find it but that will never stop me and I hope others from trying.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

So true. Thank You.
Linguistic and semantic pedantry is destroying the ability to communicate.
But no, I certainly don't see allowing 'txt spk' in written school exams as contributing to any "dumbing down" or loss in expertise with words, oh no...

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:11 PM
Thank you for the fable, JP: flag and star again. Your
OP started out sufficiently above board with the adored
"Once upon...". The moral easily justified the lead-up
(a contemporary, hyphenated wordcrafting I as easily
dislike as you might, as also its possible origin being
Madison Avenue). In this increasingly cruel world, how
many of us would be quietly relieved to just sit back and
believe an expensive and well crafted story-- except for
the track record of some large body out there being
sheepdogs with zippers.
Let it be to your continued credit (AND regular bumping)
nothing offered yet from you has vetted out to be less than
words of iron. To those few of you, simultaneously burning
away the fog of disinfo and chipping the calcium occasionally
from my pineal gland, thanks again for the lengthy OP--
and time well spent on both ends of this process.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:27 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Uuuugh! So loooong I almost fell asleep!

No offense, Jean-Paul Zodeaux, but when you have to reveal something of major importance please avoid excruciatingly long and not-so-relevant introductions, and get to the point first. Please realize that many people here have other things to do than being absorbed in reading such long threads.

...a bit like asking riddles to people in a car crash, when you just need to call the ambulance.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 07:33 PM
Absolutely valid,the distance between the information we read and the realities we all face make us all naturally questionable.The best thing the devil ever did was to remind us he never existed,but oh yeah God ,go on argue about him all you want but don`t believe there is a original liar.The ancient paradox continues even in the modern era.

posted on Feb, 5 2011 @ 09:14 PM
Long, but was worth it.

P.S. : Little detail that caught my attention. The sun "rise" or "set" because of the earth's rotation on itself. Was it intended ?

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