13 thoughts on “Snopes”

  1. It’s been a joke since the 90s, when it tried to “debunk” the Clinton death count.

    Just to be clear, you’re not claiming that the Clintons are having people killed, you’re just saying Snopes’ debunking of the notion was flawed, correct?

    1. Yes, the debunking was flawed. And there were an unusual number of convenient deaths in the orbit of the Clintons, including Vince Foster. I have no idea who killed him, but I consider it unlikely that he killed himself, or that it happened in Fort Marcy Park.

      1. And there were an unusual number of convenient deaths in the orbit of the Clintons…

        How would you even define an “orbit of the Clintons”? They are among the most well known and high profile people alive and have been for many decades. Such an orbit would have to include many thousands at a bare minimum and probably many times that. What be a “usual” number of “convenient deaths” for the Clintons?

    1. The industry of “fact checking” seems shady to me, so I’m doubtful of such reliability. Heck, there were several Mythbusters episodes that I thought drew conclusions from flawed tests.

  2. Probably has to do with the psychology of people who “fact-check”. There are people who are trying to form a coherent picture of the world – they value clarity and they seek good explanations. They don’t tend to talk much though. When they’ve achieved understanding, their goals are met.

    Then there are people who are obsessed with making sure other people’s picture of the world contains what they want it to contain. They don’t give a rats ass about whether or not their picture is true, they only care about whether or not other people conform to it. The goal is always unity in the face of some other tribe or imagined disaster.

    Guess who would spend the time to broadcast “fact-checks”?

  3. Also – the assumed moral valence! Good people believe X and bad people disbelieve or believe Y. Every time you see moralizing, you’re dealing with conformies.

    People trying to understand something, or teach what they understand want to know if something works or doesn’t work – they want to know if something is efficacious or a waste of time. The judgements are different – they engage different emotions, and probably light up different parts of your brain on an FMRI.

    Real knowledge always grounds eventually in how to do something. Fake knowledge, which is what it seems most people fill their heads with, instead engages moral sentiment and tells some narrative story instead of a mechanical model.

  4. I’ve often wondered if AI could be enlisted to objectively verify or, uh, unverify (?) a news story or even an editorial – but I repeat myself. It would be worth a lot of money if so. Though I think Google would be able to develop a highly biased AI algorithm to determine the truth or falsehood of a particular article, based on a very highly distorted idea of “truth.”

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