Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Tower of Babel, 2017

One of the major stories of the past year has been the rise of "fake news" - authentic-sounding media reports that are not just "spun" to reflect a particular political point of view, but are created from nothing in order to smear an individual or further an otherwise unpopular agenda. Fake news is not the same as satire, and it plays very well to uneducated or credulous audiences too lazy to think beyond their preconceived ideas.

There's an interesting biblical quote that applies to the fake news problem. The book of Genesis tells, in chapter 11*, the story of how man tried to build a tower that would enable him to reach God.

The effort was facilitated by the fact that everyone spoke the same language, and so God decided on an elegant way to punish man's hubris ... He (She) scrambled their languages to make them mutually unintelligible, making it impossible for people to communicate and cooperate with each other.

So, here's the part that applies to the fake news plague -

"And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar." (Genesis 11:3)**

"And slime had they for mortar." I think that about sums it up.

Have a good day. Think critically when you're faced with fake news. Avoid the slime; rely on facts and reason. More thoughts tomorrow.


* No, not the one dealing with bankruptcy.

** King James Version online -


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Fake news has become the bane of the internet. Often the examples have click bait titles, which encourage the unsuspected to be drawn in. And, as the pizza shop indicated, it can result in outrageous consequences. My rule is, that if it out of the ordinary, then verify it from other sources. Unless it sounds like something from the Onion.

Often the fake news is found in links at the bottom of a page.

Mike said...

You don't even need different languages to make it impossible for people to communicate and cooperate with each other. You just need politics.

Grand Crapaud said...

Slang can be a contributor to confusion also. Fake news is so widespread now,