A Challenge:

A true story:

I remember hearing about an artificial satellite named "Sputnik" in Oct 1957. I remember the U. S. of A. playing catchup as it (we?) launched Explorer 1 in Jan 1958. I remember my older cousin coming to my house to be certain I was outside at the right time to take advantage of the right lighting conditions in Aug 1960 to actually see a very large gasbag called "Echo" orbiting overhead. But what I remember most: From my earliest memories, my dad rambling on and on about the physics of how jets and rockets functioned and how someday we would travel to the moon and beyond. I watched on 20 July 1969 as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

In 2002 Buzz Aldrin punched an idiot who called him “a coward and a liar” for lying about being on the moon.

The Challenge:

Have you ever recounted an event or sequence of events only to realize that too many people thought your account sounded "less than authentic" to the extent that they thought or even said that you were a liar?

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PriceRip's picture

A true story:

Fifty one years ago, I screwed up. We had planned a memorial service (in La Grande, OR) for the "Four Dead In Ohio". However, the morning of the service I spaced off the whole thing. As I was walking in a fog near the college library my friend Jim approached me demanding to know why I had not attended the service.

A few weeks later I learned that Oregon National Guard general David Baum had been at the La Grande armory building overseeing preparations to deal with any actions that might occur during the aformentioned memorial service.

The older I get the less real this story sounds and the more senility seems the more likely explanation.

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janis b's picture

Have you ever recounted an event or sequence of events only to realize that too many people thought your account sounded "less than authentic" to the extent that they thought or even said that you were a liar?

I'd guess we've all experienced that at one time or another.

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11 users have voted.

I watched on 20 July 1969 as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

Emphasis on the first "I" - there wasn't anything to watch, at least where I was living in Oregon - I seem to recall staying up late at night (local TV channels didn't broadcast after midnight or 1:00 AM) and recording the "one small step..." bit in my bedroom with a tape recorder held in front of an AM radio...

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PriceRip's picture

@Blue Republic

one of those "back" memories of seeing some sort of broadcast a few days later. In the Pendleton area at best we could get a "decent" signal from the Tri Cities of Washington.

So, my bad ...

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@PriceRip to watch it on TV in the Tri-Cities. So I can vouch it was on.

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PriceRip's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

seemed so very exotic compared to Hermiston. My perceptions have changed a lot during the past half century. Pardon

Funny aside: Back in the day Bert Wells the singing cowboy was a childhood favorite originating from some TV station in the Tri-Cities (Richland?). In the early 1970s I recognizes him as our Speech Professor at EOC in La Grande. Bert was less than thrilled when I spoke to him about that interesting fact one day on the quad. Blush

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janis b's picture

@Blue Republic

boyfriend and his parents, watching on tv.

'IIRC ... Emphasis on the first "I"'. Very funny Blue Republic.

Oregon could have been another planet at that time ... from the perspective of an east-coaster ; ).

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PriceRip's picture

@janis b

In some ways Oregon is still like another planet. And I only spent about 50 years away from here.

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janis b's picture

@PriceRip

Granted, it was in Ashland which might not have been as remote.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

which is where I've lived the last 24+ years.

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PriceRip's picture

( @janis b ) was becoming a cloud on the near horizon for me as I graduated from high school, and started to meet returning vets. For a few months I considered the possibility of "escaping" to Australia, but opted for direct confrontation instead. Given what I later learned, I suspect that if I had gone to Australia I would have wound up in New Zealand.

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janis b's picture

@PriceRip

I'm sure you remember this 3D imagery you once posted ...

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PriceRip's picture

@janis b

I need to spend more time with this at high volume.

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janis b's picture

@PriceRip

at any volume ; ).

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janis b's picture

@janis b

Regardless, it sounds like you have had a very satisfying and productive life. That's wonderful.

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CS in AZ's picture

@janis b

I was 10 years old. My whole family was riveted to the TV as he descended the ladder and stepped onto the moon.

Naturally, what I remember most vividly is that he said his line wrong. He left out the "a" (or if he did it, as some claim, it was obscured by the static), so he said "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" -- which my 10-years-old mind helpfully noted was a verbal typo! It should be, one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind." Because using "man" the way he did in his delivery means the same thing as mankind. Oops!!!

I mean seriously, here we were, the human species stepping on the surface of the moon for the first time, and I was thinking about how he'd said it wrong. And that this was going to go down in history as a huge mistake. Which, I am sorry to say, it has.

Armstrong’s famous ‘one small step’ quote — explained

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

But after returning from space, Armstrong said that wasn't what he had planned to say.

He said there was a lost word in his famous one-liner from the moon: “That’s one small step for 'a' man.” It’s just that people just didn’t hear it."
...
“The 'a' was intended,” Armstrong said. “I thought I said it. I can’t hear it when I listen on the radio reception here on Earth, so I’ll be happy if you just put it in parentheses.”

...
Oh Buzz. I feel your pain.

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janis b's picture

@CS in AZ

It was quite a buzz though.

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CS in AZ's picture

@janis b

Too funny!

Can I blame it on the fact that I did have, shall we say, just a tiny bit of a Buzz going on last night when I wrote that? oy.

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.

e·pis·te·mol·o·gy
/əˌpistəˈmäləjē/

the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

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As a gadfly on this board, my overt agenda is to attack certitude about phenomena and events that take place outside of the reach of one's five senses. It is a truism that everything you "know" about persons, places and things beyond your immediate experience comes from what somebody else told you. In the 21st Century, that means what you see on flat screens displaying digitally encoded images and sound. Such "information" is absurdly easy to fabricate and manipulate.

There is nothing new about disinformation as propaganda, of course. Wars have been started over bullshit stories for centuries. Remember the Maine, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Tonkin Gulf Incident, babies on the hospital floor, weapons of mass destruction -- to name a few from American history. It is far easier to hoke up "information" now than ever in history, thanks to digital technology.

They even made a movie in the 70s about this epistemological conundrum:

.

Capricorn One is a 1978 thriller film in which a reporter discovers that a supposed Mars landing by a crewed mission to the planet has been faked via a conspiracy involving the government and—under duress—the crew themselves.

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The intimacy of the flat screen that you can access any time, any where makes the people you see on it seem "real." You can see the pores on the skin of their noses and the nuances of their facial expressions. The viewers of our "news" culture are invited to make "judgment" on the politicians, experts and celebrities who explain what is going on in the world to us.

The overwhelming majority of internet conversation about what is "Real" and what is "Fake" is an effort to evaluate "sources." Some tell the truth and others lie, so finding the truth is a matter of determining which voices are bullshitters and which are honest.

How's that working out for us as a civilization?

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The combination of growth in the planet's population and the complexity and density of our digital communication structures on the one hand and the ever growing number of screens around us with better and better resolution on the other hand gives people the false sense of "knowing" our leaders and the leaders of our enemies. My brother tells me he puts his "faith" in Dr. Fouci because he "knows." I have seen other internet posters say things like, "I don't trust Putin."

Uh, "we" don't know jack shit about any of the talking heads we see on flat screens, but it seems like they are in the room with us. So we make our "decisions" about what is true and what is false based on our evaluation of the personalities with whom we know nothing at all other than what comes through the "news" distribution system.

At this point, the counter argument comes down to a host of Yes, Buts.

Yes, but Trump.

Yes, but Science.

Yes, but aw come on.

Yes, but Neil Armstrong really did walk on the moon.

Yes, but but but but but

In our culture, for the last five years, the Democratic Party has falsely and maliciously accused Vladimir Putin of installing Trump as President. Yet the Main Stream Media of today puts the word "lie" into virtually every story about Trump's claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

The election of 2020 was statistically indistinguishable from the 2016 election. The Democrats win the popular vote by a substantial margin while the Electoral College contest is very close, decided by margins under one percent in a very few swing states. The Dems lied when they said they lost to Putin. I am ready to buy that Trump's legal case against the vote tallies was a "lie." But, as lies go, it far less preposterous to claim that specific voting processes were manipulated than to claim that Putin somehow entered the minds of voters to switch them from Hillary to Donnie Fucknuts.

In a culture with such obviously contradictory bullshit being shoveled from the top down, I am both mystified and disgusted at how many internet posters ignore the crisis of epistemology.

The population of Earth is currently calculated to be over 7 billion human beings. That means that if you wanted to have first hand information from everybody, spending six minutes with each person, ten per hour, ten hours for 100 conversations per day, it would take you 200,000 years to talk to everybody.

Yet we imagine that we know exactly what is going on because "sources."

Good luck all.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire nothing to add.

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NYCVG

Shahryar's picture

@fire with fire @fire with fire

both absurd, immature, and stupid. People I like believe the Dem lie. It's crazy! Especially when you look at what a poor candidate Hills always was.

Anyway, just because there have been and continue to be lies about lots of things, it doesn't mean everything is a lie. That is, "Russia!!" does not mean there were no moon landings. "People lie" does not mean "all is a lie". Because if that were so then it would be reasonable to state that there is no fire with fire. It would be reasonable to assert that c99 is a cia funded operation. And then where would we be? If nothing is as it seems because we know some particular thing is a lie....then we really should get off the 'net.

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PriceRip's picture

@Shahryar

Fortunately, for me, I was able to redefine my salaried position into "Facilitate Other's Attempts As They Learn To Think For Themselves". This reinterpretation allowed for some really great results both in the classroom, but more importantly "out in the real world" as some would use the labels. That sustained me as I did battle with administrators, ne'er-do-wells, and sundry other malcontents.

So, as we approach the end, I can at least note: I made a positive difference, even if brief and local.

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@Shahryar
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Where would we be if everything is a lie?

Same place we are now, in an ocean of uncertainty.

I agree that everything is not a lie. That has nothing to do with my point -- we are in a crisis of legitimacy because no one has the power to impose "reality" on us. But there is a concerted effort going right now to try to impose it -- many posts on this very board are part of that effort.

It will fail because the internet is uncontrollable. I am objecting to that effort, even as I am confident it will not succeed.

The problem I have with your response is that you seem to assume that you must regard everything as either the truth or a lie. Maybe so, but none of us has the wherewithal to determine what is a lie and what is a mistake and what is accurate.

There is no final solution to this inherent problem of civilization. At best we can acknowledge the uncertainty of 7 billion people trying to survive and thrive, and build a new social order that does not depend upon pretending to know what the characters in places like Iran, Russia and China are plotting.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Shahryar's picture

@fire with fire

before we got bombarded with info or false info on the internet we had info or false info in newspapers.

There's so much bs going around, and as you point out, always has been, that I find it easier to use the logical explanation. I accept or reject things as they make sense to me. Often I use precedents in my accept/reject/not sure/don't care thoughts.

Moon landing: have people seen rockets take off? yes. Have we used technology available only because satellites are in orbit? yes. So things can be launched and go in orbit. Could people go in orbit? Logic says yes. and so on, until it makes sense that people have landed on the moon.

Russia gave Trump the Presidency: evidence for it is "somebody said so". Evidence against is Hillary's botched campaign. Did she blow the 2008 nomination? yes. Did she come close to blowing the 2016 nomination? yes. Did she not campaign in certain states? yes. Did she do fundraisers at rich peoples' houses and get a BLM supporter kicked out? yes. Weigh that against "somebody said so" and it's easy for me to come to a conclusion.

Those two are easy. Lots of stuff is maybe this, maybe that and a lot of it is stuff I can easily ignore. The news is full of pointless irrelevancies. Are they true? I don't care one way or the other. Is the Nazi Prince the best of the British royal family? I don't care!

Anyway, my point was each thing is unique. So, because the New York Times lies, it's not that I assume everything they print is a lie, it's more that I just don't use what they write as anything to be considered.

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PriceRip's picture

about:

If nothing is as it seems because we know some particular thing is a lie....then we really should get off the 'net. @Shahryar

We (examples: A hacker friend in Oregon, and Jim a savant in California) were developing a plan to implement solutions. Unfortunately, the black-hat hackers like that guy in Washington got the upper-hand. Unfettered greed fueled the process and the political hierarchy bought into the process. The problem is the lack of will to take a clear look at the situation and attack the core issues. Being part of the solution is not as popular as being part of the precipitate at the bottom of the cesspool.

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@fire with fire epistemology got started:

When he (Mark Twain) proved to them that their opinions were incorrect they naturally got upset with him. "'E pissed 'em all off." Noted Bugsy Segal.
And so it came to be known as Epistemology. - Abe Lincoln, 1942, Queen Biscuit Flour Hour.

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PriceRip's picture

I think ( @Battle of Blair Mountain )'s comment Is the best I have read in a long time.

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