Monday, September 23, 2013

Truth and lies

Last week we had my dad's 70th birthday party. He specifically said "no party" so I spread the word with the utter certainty that someone would take that as an invitation--which was, in fact, what happened.

Now, I could say with absolute truth that I didn't arrange the party, that I didn't plan it and had nothing to do with it.

This morning I spent some time researching urban legends. It is interesting to follow the chain of logic "disproving" an urban legend...only to come back around to a source that the site has influence over or that influences the site.

Truth, or fiction? When the source references the site using the source as a reference, who can say? But the site relies on the fact that few people will check their references. When the fact checker states they rely only on advertising for funding and another site uses that as a reference for their funding sources, the evidence goes around in a circle. Sometimes it's a single link circle, sometimes it's many links, but the fact is that someone who knows what they're doing can hide almost anything.

Years ago I visited a site that claimed to research and debunk urban legends. In the upper right hand corner was a little icon that stated, "Sponsored by the United States Government." When I went back a week later the icon had disappeared, and unfortunately I didn't think to get a screenshot. So I have the evidence of my own eyes, but it's not evidence that another can use.

Does that make the apparent fact a lie, just because the truth is hidden? Does it make my memory false, just because someone else didn't see what I saw? I'll quote from one of my favorite books--

"It's a simple hide information an honest user would have no reason to look for, then dump what's hidden, with no one the wiser."

No comments:

Post a Comment