The Boy Who Wouldn’t Cry Wolf. Internet-Positivism

 

 

I was sent a German post of someone claiming migrants are being flown in during the night in Cologne, Germany. Considering it was already known that migrants would be flown in from Turkey, the focus point was whether it’s nocturnal nature was to keep it secret. After tweeting said post, it was pointed out to me that the source didn’t seem very reliable, should I not do some more fact checking? Always a safe point to raise, were it not for the post itself stating it is a personal anecdote (and inviting people to find out more for themselves). It betrays the knowledge there is such a fallacy known as the personal-anecdote, but failing to understand this is only a fallacy when presented as objective fact. Highlighting or sharing someone’s personal observation “This has happened” becomes a matter of “Is this happening?” The confusion lies between inquiry and assertion. Source-selection has the purpose of weeding out flaws. This shouldn’t be misapplied as a means to finding out. “Valid source” is the one mode of discourse each individual on the internet understands. It is the epistemological hammer in every toolbox. Something about problems and nails…

 

Internet discussions often appear to be a struggle for authority. Entire news-sources are accepted or rejected based on a fashion sense which is mistaken for prudence. “DailyFAIL” “Breibart, really?” “What, you still trust the Grauniad?” An individual on the internet might discard his human voice for a front of academia or journalism. What follows is theater. People protect their avatar-projected ego by only citing the most trusted sources. By only stating, and inquiring into, what is already known…

 

It seems innocent at first glance. However, on the issue of migration, Islam and its effects, noises on the rape-epidemic in Sweden have been shrugged off as hate-mongering. Had there been fewer personal anecdotes of New-Years eve in Cologne and other cities, the establishment media would have succeeded to silence the event. In turn, it was only after the attacks and the attempted media cover-up that the forced child-prostitution in the UK, in particular in Rotherham, was finally internationally acknowledged. Facebook needn’t bother to remove the video of a German girl voicing she no longer feels safe going out, Zuckerberg can leave the silencing to hordes crying “[Citation needed]”.

 

A few old points:

 

“It is no longer a personal anecdote when it is a widely shared experience.”

“The times will force us to make decisions where our epistemology can be no more precise than ‘we really believe this to be the case, and this is what we believe will do the most good’”

 

A personal voice isn’t an objective fact. But it might signal a fact, or something significant. Some ignore the cry in the night out of fear. But how many more cries will we ignore because we’re not sure until we find out?

 

 

 

 

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