I just searched this question:
What’s the largest ocean?
And I got this answer:
The Pacific Ocean.
The computer code probably looks something like this:
puts “Ask a question”
question = gets
if question.include? “What’s the largest ocean?”
puts “The Pacific Ocean.”
puts “Sorry, I don’t know.”
I asked my nephew that same question.
And I got the very same answer.
Put a fact into a computer, or into a mind, and out it comes.
A computer solves problems in exactly the way it is programmed.
Each and every time.
It is immuned to lies.
People are not.
And according to recent research, not even people who are “programmed” to know better.
Because people don’t retrieve facts from memory.
We retrieve information that’s easiest for us to retrieve.
Whether that information is true or not.
Repeat something enough times, and we will eventually believe it.
easy = true
This “illusory truth effect” is powerful.
And all the more so, because we are unaware of it.
So be aware (beware).
We’re living in an age of bullshit.
We’re being inundated with quick, simple, repetitive messages.
Ones cleverly designed to get a click, a pass along, a contract, or a vote.
And not a single one of us is immune to it.