Intellectual Laziness live on the Internet

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information, some excellent, some very good, but sadly in a sea of mediocre to absolutely false. One has to really be careful with the factual reality of lots of the data floating through our sources, it is no time to be guilty of “Intellectual Laziness”.

Of course everyone knows that the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein have all warned us to be aware of what’s posted on the internet.

A humorous example of Intellectual Laziness

As much as that is an issue, this particular piece of intellectual laziness caught my eye, making me both laugh and wonder what it takes to get some reality to the public.

The image at the top of this was attached to the following post:

Apple dodged $74 billion in taxes over a four year period, according to a US Senate investigation. That’s enough to cover the $60 billion it costs to provide tuition-free college to everyone in the country. Share if you agree this is outrageous! Like US Uncut!
#TaxDay

MATH:
Apple tax dodge=$74 billion.
Total tuition at public colleges=$60 billion.

Source (Apple tax dodge): http://bloom.bg/1H7NMLI
Source (cost of college): http://theatln.tc/1kuBXWC

After actually looking at the the attached articles, I guess I was feeling a touch snarky, I think that’s the right word for it, and wrote the following comment.

Nice Meme, who’s audition for the fact-check staff at Faux News is this?

The Bloomberg story on “Apple” is actually about Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands having “enabled corporate tax avoidance by offering low rates and serving as intermediaries to help companies move profits into subsidiaries around the world.” Apple is just a nice big name with a big number.

Though ethically challenged, the companies broke no laws and once again showed the major flaw that comes out of unregulated Capitalism, greed and the human tendency to hoard.

One last note, the article says the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found last year that “Over a four year period, Apple shifted $74 billion in profits…”, not taxes.

Does it bother anyone that the invalidation of this meme is attached, but no one can be bothered to look?

And there lays the problem with today’s information overloaded society. There was a time when there was reasonable faith in the fact that real “news” was actually filtering into our homes on programs that actually evoke the word news in their titles.

Back in the day of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite there was both an expectation and requirement of some actual validity in what was presented as news.  One of the side effects of this was that news divisions were never profitable, it cost money to do the work of investigating and verifying the details, then it all went south.

News as a product and then…

How did it happen? I suspect some bean-counter(s) (with their own special place in Hell waiting) realized that if news became a product and they made ratings more important than content, that they could charge more money for their commercial space.

While this was bad enough, the changes in corporate culture allowed some companies to become probably too big and powerful. They could now control the news that was presented by threatening to withhold those advertising dollars if less than flattering stories were presented.

If you thought Intellectual Laziness was bad on broadcast television, look what happened with the advent of CNN, Faux News (I admit my bias, made laughable by their claim to be “Fair and Balanced“, good thing Rupert‘s not Pinocchio) and MSNBC. Sadly, they were the obvious products of the monetization of news. The inevitability of profit over content was obvious with 24-Hour news only stations that have to be profitable to survive.

Then came the internet (a safe haven for Intellectual Laziness)

What can be said about the vapid nature of the internet other than it has become the residence extraordinaire of Intellectual Laziness. Look around the internet and you you will find absolute proof that 1+1=793 and that the Earth is flat.

If you think that there is no standard of accuracy in broadcast newscasts, what passes for journalism on the internet, well I guess it was telling when the National Enquirer was actually considered for a Pulitzer a few years ago, for reporting a story the mainstream press press refused to cover.

This internet has some amazing things on it, but it is often buried under porn, questionable, at best, “facts” and cute cat videos.  Throw in wanna-be celebutards doing stupid things or showing videos that would not make it onto Ricki Lake or Maury and it is like sifting pepper while looking for gnat-shit (lovely metaphor that).

Lincoln Internet Quote

Famous Lincoln quote on Intellectual Laziness

For anyone feeling the need to purge themselves of the evil Apple, can I call you Eve, I will take it upon myself to carry the burden of a MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display (3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, 16GB memory & 1TB flash storage), an iPad Pro (128GB) or even an Apple Watch. Whatever I can do to make your load in life easier…

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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