internet · whatgirlssay

MERMAIDS, CONSPIRACY THEORIES, CAR CULTURES: WHAT DO THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

Let’s start off with the simple undeniable fact that all three of these things can exist without the internet. (I mean the idea of mermaids has been around since the ancient world, so on so forth)

BUT…..

We can’t deny that all three of these things has gained an even stronger, wider group of followers through the use of the internet. This is one of the points made by Charles Seife, the author of the selection “The Loneliness of the Interconnected.” According to Seife, “the internet is amplifying our quirks and our odd ideas” (297).

umyb Which I’m sure some can disagree with this idea, go online, form a group about it, and it’ll be a firm belief – excluded from other information, other facts that will go against this.

Using Seife’s explanation, lets imagine some did do exactly what I just mentioned above, and gathered a following large enough to hold this belief as a “bedrock belief” (290). And let’s say we conducted experiments to disprove this exact idea. Followers of the group, according to Seife, would not care or even receive the information – it will merely be “noise” because they can easily block it out with the help of the internet.

I myself have been drawn onto websites and the endless youtube videos that do in fact prove that mermaids are real, and that George Bush did 9/11. And I have made some of the conspiracy theories a belief – the mermaid belief is in fact a BEDROCK belief. (I will argue to the death about that one).

So, I search the web in search of websites and groups that only support this. I don’t go on Google searching for things to disprove my beliefs, because well … thats uncomfortable. I’d rather be ignorant and firm in my beliefs, just as much as all of us would like to be.

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So how does car cultures fit into this? Well have you seen the Instagram pages? Subaru car culture pages (specifying Subaru since this is my chosen discourse community – not being unfair) will promote the idea that Subaru’s are the best thing since sliced bread. This is something made for Subaru owners – something to reinforce the group’s ideas and beliefs. And they will exclude and refer to facts that hey maybe….. an Evo does in fact have some better advantages as noise. Not information.

And this is where Seife says we fail when using the internet. Instead of allowing ourselves to receive new information, we’ve shut it all down.

What happens next?

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