Friday, July 15, 2011

On Being Punked

I'm a naive person who believes that the wonder of humans is that they are social, cooperative, share, and build.

Most animals will take advantage of each other. They must be on guard all the time. They get worn down by constant vigilance where any advantage is quickly torn down by competitors. It is only social species that can build.

But I learned, yet again, with my post on a supposed encounter with primitives that the Internet is shark-filled waters with those out there who are quick to take advantage of any gullibility or trust. They enjoy fooling others.

In my silly world we are social, we share, we learn, we build. This requires trust and cooperation. But the sharks out there loves to "play games" destroying the little castles in the air that those of us who view the Internet as a collaborative media would like to build. Instead of using this tool to build and learn, they use it to trick and deceive, to undermine trust and cooperation, to destroy any hope of collaboration. They want us to go back to the bestial state where you can never trust any gesture or any attempt to share.

I get depressed when I realize that the forces of darkness are always out there eager to undermine what the foolish and trusting and hopeful would ever try to build. These monsters get their jollies by chopping everybody down to this solipsistic, atomistic, distrustful level.

What a shame.

So I've learned my lesson. Don't be so eager to share. Spend a lot more wasted time verifying fact before posting. Always suspect the worst. Be cautious in posting. Rein in the initial desire to share by asking: is it going to be worth all the effort to do the necessary validation before I add this to the pool of collaboration?

These tricksters who enjoy lying and confusing must be happy at the thought that when parents trundle their children off to school they must first tell them: "Now be careful. When you teacher tells you something, stop and ask yourself, 'Is this something I can trust, is this something I can believe?' You have to know that some teachers don't think that the point of education is to share knowledge, they think it is a game and they want to see how much they can mess with your mind. They enjoy lying to see if you are credulous enough to believe everything they say."

This isn't the world I want to live in. But with this post on primitives, I got reminded, that this is the real, ugly, and cruel world that I live in. One where for each person trying to share and build, there is somebody busy pranking and destroying.

Today my world became a bit grayer, darker, and sadder. I was rudely forced to be aware that the Internet is not a wonderland of shared thoughts and discoveries. It is full of dark souls who lie and fake, who want to undermine knowledge and sociability.

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