Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Facebook Science

The internet is rife with misinformation and pseudo-information although it can also be a source of very useful information. However credible sources seem to be lacking when "science proves" blogs are posted on Facebook and shared. The ones that flow in this vein which I  find most interesting are the ones that state that you posses a certain quality because you have a particular taste in something else. They are much more prevalent than credible studies I have seen. I have come to the conclusion that the following equation for those blog posts is:

Positive quality I believe I have = proved because of a taste I have that I believe is superior

Example: Intelligence = proven because I appreciate dark humor (this is one I have actually seen)

                Independent = proven because I love bands that aren't well known (this is one I made up)

But we would laugh at a blog that said something like:

                Interesting = proven because I like rainbow ice cream

because ice cream choice doesn't seem superior. We might be more apt to believe it if it was "rainbow ice cream" was replaced with "Slow churned" or something else that seems elevated, but not as much as the previous examples. Our tastes in food, humor, literature, music, movies, podcasts, etc. seem to us what makes us interesting. We want to believe that it also indicates a quality that we believe we have, but maybe don't want to say outright. We don't have to say it outright if we say "A blog post  I read says it is proven that those who listen to classical music are skilled writers."

I find it interesting, that's all. If you love dark humor you might be intelligent but it isn't an indication that you are intelligent. What is? It is difficult to really measure, but I have found the prevalence of it an interesting indication of our own narcissistic tendencies.

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