The Death of Expertise and the Rise of the Internet
No good will come of this.
The modern Internet has become a hopeless cesspool of lies, misinformation, malinformation, bad intentions, ignorant good intentions and half-truths, outright hoaxes, slander, cruelty; as well as a refuge for creeps, criminals, thieves, phonies, agent provocateurs, would-be revolutionaries, predators, useless and fake reviews, Satanists, and worse.
Linking the entire globe and all the subsystems of corporate archives, personnel records, medical information, electrical grid interactions, and more will turn out to be the dumbest thing humanity has ever done.
The Internet and its World Wide Web has not fulfilled the promise of connecting the world in a positive way while distributing the combined knowledge of thousands of years of civilization. This horrible network has made matters worse. Hate and divisiveness is the theme of the modern era.
And, yes, you associate all sorts of cool things that happened in this era are with the Internet but most of those things are attributable to desktop computers combined with basic networking. It's not the Internet at all.
The major casualties of the Internet are the distinct loss of expertise and clarity of sources. This is because newspapers and magazines, in particular, were changed by the Internet’s subversive hyperlinking mechanism that made click-bait the key to profitability.
And while many people do not care about the political bias and agenda-laden slants of today’s newspapers, people would like to go on the Internet and find out something other than a definition of a word, which seems to be honest. But even that is ending as “politically correct” definitions creep into the lexicon almost overnight, where it would take years to accomplish in the past.
Even the definition of a vaccine has changed to accommodate what the Pfizer marketing department calls a vaccine and which has no connection to its previous definition. The change happened overnight.
So I start the week buying some American Wagyu from Costco. Looking online for methodologies to cook this meat, I found discrepant information. Nobody had a clue and much of the information about the meat itself was inaccurate. The timings were wrong, the ways to cook were wrong. The temperatures were wrong. Everything was wrong until I came across a Japanese chef who showed the way. But it took forever to get there.
What good information there is on the Internet is buried under a mountain of rubbish. And the mountain is growing.
At first, I figured Wagyu is new and people are experimenting. But no, this is the case for everything. Unless you are cooking something forgiving, like stew, online recipes, both video and written, are useless drivel. Watching someone cooking Basmati rice without ever rinsing it is mind-boggling.
When the pre-Internet CD-ROM phenomenon was underway in the early 1990s, Fred Gibbons coined the phrase “information at your fingertips.” It was later used by Bill Gates to promote the emerging CD-ROM industry with Microsoft products such as Encarta, Microsoft Bookshelf, and Cinemania. The idea of “information at your fingertips” stayed in play with the emergence of the Internet. Now it is “bad information at your fingertips.”
I started complaining about this years ago. Then I realized that there was no way, despite the enormity of the Internet and the Web, that I could find an honest review site that would determine the best weed whacker to buy.
The most pervasive of supposed review sites were fronts for selling a particular brand of weed whacker.
I noticed this phenomenon for everything from CBD salves to cutlery. Phony review sites promoting one brand over the others. Oh, and wow, the review site will also sell you the product. How lucky can you get?
The Internet has become a cesspool of scammers, money grubbers, fake experts, and creeps. It’s no wonder that a TikTok goofball is now considered a valuable “influencer” and given a lot of money to promote one product or another.
Some years ago, the FTC made a fuss about people on Twitter paid by commercial entities to pretend to like their products. There was an edict that this had to be disclosed, or else.
So what ever happened to that idea with these TikTok, Instagram, and other online “influencers” who promote everything from the Pfizer jab to cheap cosmetics? I have not seen a disclaimer anywhere for years.
When will we come to realize that the Internet itself is a flawed system and should have been taken down years ago? By its nature it turns everything into crap. Interlinking everything is not a good idea. It’s a very bad idea.
The original 1960s idea behind the net was to have some sort of unbreakable network within the USA that could sustain a nuclear attack by Russia. How that morphed into social network abominations and a flood of fake information needs study.
Worse, the mechanism has enriched exploitative companies led by Google to spy on you to figure out some way to sell you more junk or to allow others to cheat you.
How is any of this good?
Having followed the Internet since its inception, I cannot figure out why it was ever adopted as a useful mechanism by every corporation and public utility. This is despite the fact that, with little effort, it is hackable by thousands of capable people, many criminal.
Records are stolen, confidential documents revealed. While laws are passed to protect the public’s medical information, doctors are now required to put all patient data online. Why? What idiot is behind this insanity?
We should be taking information offline, not putting more and more online. Connectivity should decrease, not increase. It’s nuts and continues unabated. –jcd
May 25, 2021