Neal's Gadget silence

I started my first post off with “For what its worth, I’ve ordered twice from Neal.”. Evidently, it was not worth much to you. I am done. Good night, sir.

Yeah. :frowning:

Lies spread like the flu, while truth comes limping behind.

It was once a common theory that people believed ridiculous things because they didn’t have access to information. But now we have the internet, detailed info about almost every topic at our fingertips… and it seems the issue has only gotten worse. Whatever it is that causes ignorance, it isn’t a lack of access to information.

In some cases, there’s literally hundreds or thousands of years of solid evidence proving that an idea is false, and people believe it anyway. For example, the idea that the Earth is flat. But tell someone their idea is false, and present the evidence, and they go “Hey, you’re not the thought police! You can’t tell me what to think! That’s just your opinion!”


I don’t know what makes people behave like that. It’s like they have a broken immune system — but for information. So they pick up whatever information illnesses they’re exposed to and then spread it to others with similar weaknesses. And much of the time, these infoviruses end up being permanent or at least take a very long time to heal.

I also don’t know how to solve it. But we can at least reduce the chance of getting sick by practicing good information hygiene. As for what that means, well, getting info about controversial topics from whoever writes the juiciest tweets … is not good information hygiene. Accurate information is rarely juicy; usually it’s dull and dry.

For anyone interested in getting a booster shot for their information immune system, here’s a video tutorial about navigating digital information.

I am just old enough that I grew up in the 90s with unfettered access to the internet. In those days modem speed was rated in baud. Back then on Usenet and bulletin board systems, accuracy was the currency of the day and everyone sought the truth. Then in the late 90s or early 2000s the internet became so popular everyone had access and not just technophiles. Now it seems that bots have taken over and people lack the tools to discern real information from false information.

Maybe it was just that people who had access back then were the ones who tended to be educated. But now everyone has access to the internet and these same people demand that the information they spew carries the same weight as subject experts. I agree that something is fundamentally broken and I am not sure it can be fixed, but I hope the loud few who spread the truth can teach those who don’t care or choose not to care.

Everyday I work with professionals who are more educated and even more intelligent than I am. I try very hard to learn everything I can from them. Anytime I am corrected by one of them it makes me happy that I have learned something new, even if it bruises my ego. I only wish most people felt this way.

So you’re saying he got a light for free then? He complained little and get a refund but refuse to send the light back? Who’s in the wrong now?

Just sayin’.

Where did G0OSE say he “refused” to send the light back? What I read was that Neal failed to respond to a PayPal dispute. In that case PayPal resolves the dispute in the buyer’s favor, issues a refund, and no return is required. How does that make the customer “in the wrong”? There’s also the pesky fact that returning a typical flashlight to China from the USA or Europe will cost more than the price of the flashlight.

That’s called compensation, neal had plenty of chances to sort it out , he didn’t so Paypal did.

To be fair, much (most?) of that information is untrue.

Most people don’t want the truth, they want confirmation, which is more comfortable. Things like tribal identity are handled by the reptilian brain and not susceptible to rational argument.

Epistemology is hard. Logic is hard. You can only do this for yourself, by opening yourself to multiple points of view, including those you disagree with and take you outside your comfort zone. As for others, it is almost impossible to do so, only if a leader from their own tribe has a change of heart will they reconsider.

The real problem is hucksters, politicians and others who cynically exploit these biases for personal gain or power. As long as the incentives are there, they will continue. You cannot penalize them without trampling on free speech, and if you do that, it’s more likely the unpopular truths like the theory of evolution that will be banned, not flat-earth ers or anti-vaxxers.

I’m not getting any lights for free here, I haven’t even bought any! just to clear that up. :person_facepalming: . I was just replying to your comment, where YOU were quoting the other guy.

I was pointing out Paypal’s stance, that’s all. THEY tell you that you can keep it (I’ve had it a few times over the years, wrong item received etc). Technically it’s theirs to give away since they paid the refund (the original payment was months ago, and long since withdrawn by the seller). They have to hope they can claim that back or are insured, shrewd sellers don’t leave money in their account which makes it hard to claim back.
I was told by Paypal during a previous contact where I was owed money and they subsequentially refunded (dunno if true) they don’t have an ‘auto collect’ feature which can grab funds as soon as they hit an account (as in a refund), they have to do it manually, and only try a few times - if there’s none in there at that point they can’t take any. I’m pretty sure they can’t debit your card or bank either without permission as it’s not a direct debit.

Careful, that is succumbing to the same form of confirmation bias that you are frustrated by in others. That being said I agree with your overall point in general.

This is an even greater example of the same. I’ve been connected since the 80’s, there has always been disinformation flowing through the tubes. There has certainly been a shift in the whys and hows behind the distribution of misleading data as the internet entered into the purview of corporations & state actors, but it has always required effort to filter out incorrect & deceptive information online.

Also in my experience once you get outside of an individuals’ area of study or expertise they tend to fall into the traps as the ‘uneducated’.

The theory of evolution is an unpopular truth? Is this the USA we’re talking about? Because only in a very religious country the theory of evolution could be unpopular. For us Europeans it’s the only truth more often than not.

(I know we’re going far off top at this point but the this comment made me curious)

Percentage of the population that believe humans have always existed in their current form:
USA - 18%
Bulgaria - 31%

Percentage who believe humans have evolved & the driving force behind evolution:
USA - Natural selection 33, Guided by a higher power 48
Bulgaria - Natural selection 48, Guided by a higher power 10

Edit: In case I presented that in a confusing manner. 33% of American adults believe in evolution & that it is the result of natural selection while 48% of American adults do believe that humans have evolved but that the process of evolution was guided by a higher power (ie god).

So a higher percentage of Americans believe in evolution but a much higher percentage also believe that evolution is guided an by an outside force.

Interesting that around 9% of Bulgarians replied with no response or don’t know. That appears consistent with other central/eastern Europeans who took the survey.

Source: Pew Research Center 1, 2, 3

Interesting statistics. There must be something wrong with the research though. For my 36 years, outside of very old people, I met literally a handful of people that claim evolution isn’t real and they were all clearly insane on more than one level.

Maybe they conducted the survey in weird areas of the country where people are more religious and less educated.
I’m sure you can relate to this - a survey in Alabama and California would yield very different results. In the same way the 5 largest cities in BG are vastly different than the other areas.
I also haven’t been stopped by people on the street (cough NYC cough) to explain to me the miracles of Jesus and stuff. We don’t have “one nation under god” in our anthem, nor do we mention god in our currencies, nor does our politicians mention god.

Also from your links: “Our estimate of the share of Americans who reject evolution and express a creationist view drops considerably (from 31% to 18% of U.S. adults) when respondents are immediately given the opportunity to say God played a role in human evolution.” There’s a small problem. The bible doesn’t mention anything about evolution, afaik. So either god created the Earth, or there was evolution. You can’t have both, but some people are trying to.

Anyway, I hope you don’t take it personally what I said about the USA, I have in-laws in Georgia and I’m sure it’s very different there than other parts of the US. As the US is the most religious out of the developed countries, I assumed there’s a great amount of people that denies evolution, but I guess I was wrong. If you want we could continue this subject on DM, let’s not ruin the user’s thread further :slight_smile:

This thread is starting to be rather offensive to people with other beliefs/priciples.
Not agreeing on something does not mean the other is not playing with a full deck.

Sorry I was just baffled by the claim that Evolution is “unpopular truth”. I don’t mean to continue this discussion, at least not in this thread.

Or you are placing too much weight on your anecdotal experiences. Think about your immediate response of “it doesn’t support what I believe therefore it must be wrong”. That is a perfect example of why we as individuals often find it so difficult to differentiate bad data from good.

I would imagine not as it was written while the country was still under communist rule. :smiley:

(It just made me chuckle)

shrug The doctrinal beliefs of various denominations (or more, the beliefs of individuals that aren’t in line with official catechicsm) regarding what is allegorical & what is literal is it’s own convoluted discussion & far beyond what would be acceptable here.

That isn’t at all what he said.

Wow you just had to be a dick, hadn’t you :slight_smile:

Sorry but it’s a bit too hard to believe that in the USA, the country with the highest amount of religious people out of any other developed country, the country that started the flat earth movement, only 18% reject evolution. Especially after it turned out the data actually states 31%, but some people “changed their mind” after they were presented with a “modified” version of the question. Sure that’s not sketchy at all.

And no, the Bulgarian anthem was not written while the country was under communist rule. It was written in the 19th century.

Talking about good and bad data when the poll size was the enormous amount of 1600 people. OK.

Nice try, pal.

1600 people is plenty for a very accurate statistical analysis.

But coming back to the large percentage of US citizens who believe that a higher power guided human evolution, I wonder how many of those don’t actually believe it was a god but alien visitors who came to Earth in the past. I know Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick haven’t been part of the mainstream media for decades now, but they certainly had an impact on people’s modern beliefs.

I don’t fully agree here. They also never say where they conducted the survey. As I said, large cities and small cities would generate vastly different results.

After I started reading the links the user provided I found this:
“It’s important to note that our international surveys have used a different approach to ask about evolution, so results are not directly comparable to our new U.S. survey”

If I can add another layer to my “anecdotal evidence”, I’m also not aware of anybody in Europe trying to ban evolution from being taught in public schools.

And I want to clarify something for other Americans reading this pointless conversation - I’m not bashing on the US. The US is a great country that gave all the world many goodies, like the computer I’m writing this on. And I enjoy my stay every time I’m there.