Cherry picking your facts is actually a bigger lie than simply stating falsehoods.
On 3 May 1999, we had a bit of wind and rain outside our home. That’s the facts, but not the truth. Okay, it’s only some of the facts. We had several days of tornadoes in Oklahoma, and on that day it passed within a quarter-mile of our home — a mobile home. Our yard was covered with debris ripped from all those fancy houses. What if the path had been over ours? But if I were trying to sell real estate in that neighborhood, I might not want to discuss Oklahoma’s tornadoes.
If I’m trying to sell other things, like ideas, I’m sure to leave out pertinent information in order to press the case I wish to make. So we have millions of dollars’ worth of prize photography from the likes of National Geographic, whose editors hope you buy into the UN dominated program which grants them full power to decide when and where you can go to the potty, among other things.
If I wanted you to think I’m not going to conduct warfare against Iran, I’ll tell you some missile drill in Israel with American troops was called off. Meanwhile, the majority of all Western nuclear powered aircraft carriers were recently moved within flight range of Iran. And of course, I would not want officials admitting publicly that if Iran simply dismantled every fragment of their nuclear program altogether, it would not change the plans to attack them, but I would have to come up with a new excuse.
But if I was trying to sell Global Warming and draconian controls guaranteed to make Ethiopian refugees look wealthy, I wouldn’t just cherry-pick the facts, I’d invent new “facts” and change all the numbers to suit my theories.
Human activity in the main is a broad mixture of good and bad. Sometimes the precise same small action is both. I don’t begrudge the crackers digging up information, but I wish they’d avoid breaking stuff and pulling out credit card numbers. Still, the overall effect is probably salutary. If Bradley Manning did what they say, he broke the law while making us more free. There are a lot of things we might not know about were it not for the habits of computer crackers, things we really should know. Or could, if we bothered.
The Internet has done two things. First, it democratized global information sharing and retrieval. Pictures of the tornado damaged mentioned above were available by TV right away, but the Internet saved a copy and keeps it available. It’s not just fast and cheap, but durable. Plus, anyone who was there could take their own pictures and share them, and not rely on some editorial staff to put it into their broadcast. So we can catch videos of that otherwise unreported murder at the hands of police officers in some pricey shopping district, and see it posted on YouTube in seconds after it happened.
Second, the Net has democratized sharing of passions. The problem is, passions aren’t always interested in truth, nor even facts. They most often attach themselves to lies, frankly. Now more people in more places on the earth can have their brains rotted by Lady Gaga’s filthy music videos. And more people in more places can absorb the National Geographic vile hatred for freedom of human choice, and all the various shills of evil power pushing their lies.
It also allows me to share my own passions, for whatever value readers find in them. I’m not sure I know the truth of things, only what drives me. I certainly don’t want control over others, nor their stuff. I can handle National Geographic, just look at their pictures and videos and ignore their message. And not contribute any money directly. I’m pretty sure the Climategate “scientists” deserve far worse than they’ll ever get, which is nothing new.
The means to communicate is always a double-edged sword.