Thursday, April 30, 2009

Faux Facts

Don't facts matter anymore?

Representative Michelle Bachman opens her mouth and out comes drivel. Now, who exactly was President of the United States in 1976, ma'am? Did anyone ever teach you the difference between correlation and causation? And you are making laws for us, poor citizens that we are.

Your health insurance might cost $500 per month. But that's not really a fact, because you have deductibles and co-pays and out-of-pocket-maximums and excluded procedures and a few other small print items. Get hit by a bus, no worries. But have routine medical issues normally associated with life in the retired lane? Keep that Visa card handy; you'll need it.

Some things that used to be facts now are faux-facts. Take a carton of ice cream, for example. I'm serious; take the carton in your hand next time you're in the grocery store. Does it feel different somehow? It should - it's lighter than it used to be. Chips, cookies, and crackers are just some of the products which are now almost what they were before. Faux facts.

President Bush's last budget was a fact, for sure. It asked for money and money was spent. And yet, there was no line item for the Iraq War. No money requested in the budget at all, in fact, for a war which was certainly costing billions. So, was it a budget? I thought that meant that you listed your income and expenses and made plans accordingly. Or, perhaps facts mean something different in Washington, D.C. ?

You can create a new life in cyber-space and no one looks askance. Even the fact of your self can be questioned. Ask anyone who's been around someone playing these kinds of games - reality becomes less interesting than the fast-twitch avatar and facts, like dinner and homework and bedtimes, become fantasy while joining your guild in destroying the entrance to the inner sanctuary is "what I did today". Facts that don't really exist. Or do they?

There's an assaulting large number of facts thrown at the socially networked these days. The immediacy of twitter and cell-phones and picture messaging fills our devices with things we never cared about before but which now are the most ubiquitous facts in our lives. Separating the wheat from the chaff was never easy. Now it's next to impossible.

So, maybe that's the answer to Rep. Bachman's misstatements. There were just too many facts flying around and she got confused.

"I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that." Rep. Bachman on Hardball 10/27/08

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