Sunday, October 12, 2008

Warning: This email has been known to cause stupidity by the State of California

I feel it is my moral duty to not let emails full of lies, mischaracterizations, and known misleading or untrue information go by without pointing this out. 

When 61% of the country believes in the Noah's Ark flood story _literally_, between 45% and 70% believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9-11 attacks, and 12% of Americans still think that Barack Obama is a muslim, it is clear that when things get written down and repeated over and over again, it has an effect of changing people's minds so that they believe things that never happened or are clearly or demonstrably untrue.

I have recently become rather frustrated with people who insist on sending out these kinds of propaganda and lies -- even without fact-checking or providing some kind of warning if they know that some, or all, of it is untrue or suspect.  And I have been searching for a less time-consuming, more clear and humorous and less crass way (other than doing all of their fact-checking for them -- which takes quite a long time and I don't think they read it anyway) of getting the message out that the email is worth about as much as the stuff I scrape off of my shoe.

My solution?  A warning message.  Feel free to copy and use with your next fallacious, vile, malicious, lying, hate-filled, widely-debunked, email that comes your way. 

WARNING!!  This email contains information that is known to be fallacious, demonstrably false, misleading, lies, slanted propaganda, or a mixture of these.  It should never have been sent out in its current state without this warning to the unsuspecting recipients.  While it may contain some factual information, any redeeming value it may have had is poisoned by its proximity to such noxious information.

Continuing to propagate this information is contributing to the precipitous decline of the level of civil discourse and of our entire modern civilization.

Everyone on the recipient list is now likely dumber for having read it.  Consider yourself warned.

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