Tag Archives: Snopes

Bringing the Internet to Heel

by DAVID BROWN | CLEARNFO.com | Nov 19, 2017

 It’s a documented, historical fact existing power structures control the dominant media and enlist the media’s help to shape public opinion. They paint landscapes and narratives in the minds of the masses; and create ‘well-established facts’ by consensus which may or may not be true; masking agendas of these same power structures. If you can’t accept this simple fact, you just don’t know your history, and this web site can help with that if you are interested.

So, for a few centuries, the American oligarchy created false narratives and false histories that do not hold up under dispassionate, critical analysis based on original sourced documents.  If you received your education from one of the American public school systems, universities, or the news and entertainment media, what you think you know is just not true. 

The truth of these matters can be difficult to determine if you are not equipped with the tools for the job. Firstly, it is important to recognize unexamined assumptions; and secondly, is important to be able to recognize common logical fallacies that trick most of us most of the time; if your assumptions are wrong, all logic that flows henceforth is suspect, even if your logic is perfect. A thorough examination of your unexamined assumptions can be scary, because you may be required to ‘gore your own ox’ in the pursuit of truth; this can be upsetting for many, and perhaps not worth destroying ingrained, cherished belief systems.

Our oligarchy first finessed control of the print media, then the radio and television and of course Hollywood; but with the advent of the internet, little truth-rays of light have been able to escape the otherwise well-controlled media. The oligarchy is very upset about this, so you can expect major moves to bring the internet under their control. They are just now working this out, but have made great progress recently with major internet players like Google, YouTube, and Facebook. To give the appearance of objectivity, the ‘ministry of truth and all goodness’ has elicited the help of Snopes, PolitiFact and others as the ‘final arbiters of truth’, just in case there was a question amongst the masses. This is not to say everything from Google, YouTube, Facebook, Snopes or PolitiFact is false, because it is not. Most of what is printed or filtered for consumption contains the required measure of truth to make it plausible if not entirely believable. The problem arises with the unexamined assumptions and the logical fallacies mentioned above.

On the matter of Snopes

by DAVID BROWN | CLEARNFO.com | Dec 10, 2015


Finding the Truth

I have found Snopes very useful in the past, but always look at their conclusions with suspicion. Why? Because when I have first-hand detailed and technical knowledge on a topic, I have found their conclusions biased in supporting a particular position. At other times, I have taken the time to do a detailed analysis of a topic and again found that they have slanted the facts or omitted important information, or more often answered the wrong question (straw horse) to fit a presumably predetermined conclusion. However, I still use them for a quick look to see if there is some sort of legitimate controversy that requires a second look.

One technique used to discredit the alternative media is to place partly false stories out on the web for everyone to pick up and repeat; thus providing Snopes and others an easy target in discrediting a vast swath of alternative media pundits. However, I believe that the alternative media are their own worst enemies, since too many lead with headlines designed to attract traffic to their site, rather than focus on a dispassionate spreading of the unvarnished truth. If we are truly searching for the truth, we must at all times be willing to gore our own sacred ox, in the pursuit thereof.

The danger of Snopes in my view is that too many use this one source as the final arbiter of truth. Once Snopes says something is true or false, then the user can comfortably turn off their brain. If only it was this easy!

Wikipedia has some of the same issues, though the motives seem designed to hide or sanitize information based on topic, not based on a singular overarching agenda as in Snopes but representing many agendas.  I use Wikipedia to gather up dates, times, names, places. It is a starting point, but we must always go beyond and search out source documents and view other opinions and fact-claims using the trivium method if we want a clear map of the terrain before us.

Like Snopes, I have found Wikipedia corrupted at times, but to a much lesser extent. Too many of us have an opinion and then go looking for the facts to support our opinion. A better approach would be to use something like the Trivium method in this specific order 1) Grammar: who, what, where and when; 2) Logic: why, without contradiction; & 3) Rhetoric: how to communicate to others.

Unfortunately the Trivium was removed from most education systems some 150 years ago and replaced by the Prussian system which teaches truth by authority and without context, thus our ability to think rationally and critically has been severely diminished and left many of us at the mercy of sites like Snopes.

For more on the Trivium, see John Taylor Gatto and Richard Grove on the Trivium.