Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absolute certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?

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What’s Wrong

People have far too much access to each other. It’s not that the access is bad, it’s that people don’t know how to properly use such a feature of today’s life. I’ve never seen such a culture of “I’m miserable so I’m going to make everyone else miserable too.” as now. So many humans seem to exist only to be a bane to other humans.

The most recent bit of bullshit that I came across was when a local festival posted a graphic of a sign that essentially said that no animals were allowed on festival grounds unless they were a certified service animal for a disabled person. So of course some jackass had to get butthurt, complaining that people with diabetes can have service animals, but they aren’t disabled 😐 and therefore use of the word was offensive. 😑

The festival quite politely pointed out that the graphic came from somewhere else, and they were simply wanting folks to know that any animals on the property must be service animals, because lots of folks these days try to take advantage of that allowance without a certification for their animals. The same asshole responds with “I don’t know what you mean by ‘these days‘” Oh my God d00d. Are you fucking kidding me? You’re not that dense that you don’t realize that the festival is saying that people try to “fake” service animals quite often these days. (Fact. I’ve seen it online and in person myself.)

But back to access to other humans. I can only speak about the window from which I view the world, and my window is different than it was ten years ago. I’m no longer working, I’m single… so I no longer have a lot of things that would normally take up a person’s time, so I can spend a lot of time online. Researching things that interest me, discussing things with people, debating things… generally a little bit of everything… but that also grants me a ton of time to notice and recognize all of the truly horrible people and things in the world. 😞

And this is cliche, but I do blame the Donald Trump presidency for some of it. He goes out in front of the world and acts like the blustering, politically-uneducated, loud mouthed, ignorant blow-hard that he is… and of course it subliminally encourages others, people like him, to do the same thing. 😣 So now there is a sea of truly ignorant people out there who will run their mouths about almost anything, yet only rarely know of what they’re speaking. Explain to them how wrong they are and it only makes their conviction (in their wrongness) that much stronger. It’s a bizarre and frightening thing to witness day after day after day.

Back when the world was normal, people who were unsure of something would get online to research and learn. But now people live in an echo chamber, where the ignorant people reinforce and invigorate the other ignorant people, so there’s eventually an army of these uninformed and/or misinformed morons. 🤦🏻 People who do know what they’re talking about… they’ll try to educate the moron army, but the moron army will have none of it. In fact, they’ll get mad. Mad that you’re trying to help them understand something that they clearly do not understand. 😒

And so it goes, every day on Twitter… on Facebook… on Reddit… one mass of people against another mass of people. The intelligent people don’t back down because they’re aware that they are right. The ignorant people won’t back down… well… because they’re ignorant. 😏 It’s frustrating to watch the ignorance grow, as these people spread their misinformation and sometimes blatantly made-up “facts” to the gullible. That’s a Trumpian thing to do – discredit good, factual information as being “fake” so you can replace it with whatever bullshit you wish were the facts.

Meh… those are just a few examples. Then you have fake people on Facebook, creating a bullshit image of what they want people to believe their life is like. They’ll call someone a friend one minute, then talk shit about them as soon as they leave the room. People who will see someone’s enthusiasm for something, and will then laugh or otherwise berate that person and their thing, simply because they don’t share that same enthusiasm.

Then there are the folks who couldn’t give two shits about anyone but themselves. Their entire motivation exists around their own gratification at whatever cost to those around them. Then there are the sad people who seem to require “likes” or “clicks” or whatever, as if that sort of thing validates their life and makes it “good enough” or maybe even better than someone else’s. 😢 “Oh look, she’s talking shit but she only has 72 followers. *laugh*” And then the things that a lot of people would look at and consider to be worth noticing, discussing, or debating… it’s like those things don’t exist to a huge segment of the population. 😧 Some things you want people to notice and be shocked or outraged, but the shock and outrage is always saved up for some bullshit like “Did you see that Microsoft included an emoji of a hand “flipping the bird” in their latest update? Can you believe it?”

Granted, again, I know that this is because of the window that I have, to observe the digital humans and actual humans, because of my own choices and otherwise… but I sit here and wonder why, of all the people I know, that I’m one of the very few who are concerned with what’s going on in our government? Steve Bannon said that their intention was to get into office and totally fuck things up (I’m paraphrasing) and boy is that what they’re doing. 😳 Many decades from now, our grandchildren are going to read about this time in their history books and wonder why more people didn’t say or do something.

Our President is an ignorant, narcissistic, bumbling man-child. He installs his daughter and son-in-law in top positions in the White House, despite them having equal political experience. (Meaning ZERO) Sebastian Gorka was a former Breitbart contributor with a penchant for racist hyperbole. Betsy DeVos was named Secretary of Education, despite having no experience in public schools, while lobbying for privatization. Dan Scavino is a conspiracy theorist who posts fake news, including allegations that Michelle Obama is actually a man. Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier who was named to head the EPA, despite suing the agency more than a dozen times previously. And then there’s Rick Perry, who heads the Department of Energy, while not even realizing what the department did until after he took the job. And Pruitt, he’s doing his best to eliminate transparency in the office, so much so that he’s already being legally challenged. Ugh… I could go on and on, because for nearly every Trump appointee there’s some “JFC” fact that goes along with them.

Whether by ignorance, inaction, or purposeful action – our government is literally filled with people who are doing a amazing job of destroying it from the inside, just like Bannon said they wanted. In their delusional bubble, I’m sure they think things are swell. Meanwhile, the more observant of us see that hardly anyone knows what’s going on, and the world sees that hardly anyone knows what’s going on… we’re losing even more respect, and it doesn’t help when our loud-mouthed President keeps making bizarre, almost dementia-tainted tweets and empty threats of war on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention that Trump hasn’t even nominated people for hundreds of vacant positions in his administration? Yeah… it would be nice if we had an Ambassador to South Korea, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, etc. (Especially since we’ve already bombed Syria with dozens of missiles.) But rather than listing a bunch of other shocking holes in our government, just follow this link and see for yourself. People should be bothered by this.

But no. You used the word “disabled” when talking about service animals and not all people that need service animals are disabled and I find that offensive. It makes my fucking brain hurt sometimes, no lie. 😖 And try to point out all of Trump’s documented failings and shortcomings to a Trump supporter… yeah… see how that works for ya. More than ever, the ignorant masses are digging in their heels and are simply not going to stand for any of these “so-called facts” anymore. What do you do with people like that? I mean, how do you communicate with them? Reason with them? It’s like this huge chunk of the population has chosen to remove itself from reality, so how is a thinking person supposed to process and deal with that – without getting so frustrated that they have to bust out ridiculously long, multi-paragraph blog posts in the middle of the damn night? 😏

But yeah, that’s part of “what’s wrong with me” right now…