Misinformation

The interwebs are riddled with misinformation. In part because people are lazy and can’t be bothered to spend more than 30 seconds fact-checking. And because many, many myths have been perpetuated across such a vast part of cyberspace by a bunch of people who are too lazy to do their homework, finding the truth requires a bit of work.

In looking for new information to write a lesson on, I read earlier today that the lance takes its name from Lancelot. Which, let’s be honest, is completely. effing. absurd. Not just because I have more than a basic grasp of language and history, but also because I have a functioning brain in my head.

Admittedly, the English word “lance” comes from the 12th century French word*, and Lancelot’s first appearance in literature comes from a 12th century French poem (Chrétien de Troyes’ Le Chevalier de la Charrette), but let’s be reasonable and use our brains just for the few seconds it takes to process this information logically, yeah? As much as I hate the phrase “correlation does not imply causation” because it tends to oversimplify complex ideas (and be used by smug internet trolls who think they’re smarter and better than everyone else), in this case, it fits. Just because these two things both happened in the 12th century — which is not an insignificant amount of time — does not make one the cause of the other.

So…this is my plea to question everything you read that isn’t cited (which is why everything you’ll ever read on this blog is cited** with reliable sources that aren’t (usually) Wikipedia) and/or everything your friends, however smart, tell you at random, especially when it sounds impossibly convenient. People are morons who regurgitate information because they like to seem smart, but can’t be bothered to open a book or do five minutes of research. And they do it without repercussions online, and that makes everyone a bit dumber. Don’t be lazy; do your research. Or at least find a reliable source to do your research for you.

My guiding principle both as regards this site and my life in general is: sources or GTFO.

*which, incidentally, means “to throw,” and that makes perfect sense if you devote even a quarter of a second of thought to it.

**with the exception of revolutionary theory, which is my area of expertise…I won’t give you specific references, but I will give you the sources you need to look it up for yourself.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s