Stating the obvious: a brief manifesto

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In some of my posts, I do careful fact-checking on questionable issues. In some cases, evidence is ambiguous or hard to find, or two viewpoints seem equally plausible at first glance, and it's worth taking a careful look before coming to a conclusion.

Sometimes I get tired of being so reasonable. Like today.

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • The Earth is not flat.
  • A paper towel package that says NEW! will cost more per square foot of paper towel.
  • Coronavirus COVID-19 is not the common cold.
  • Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, he's a socialist who is trying to engineer a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump is not a Republican, he's a populist who did engineer a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Michael Bloomberg is not a Democrat, he was the Republican mayor of NYC for 12 years fer cryin' out loud.
  • People really did walk on the Moon in 1969-1972.
  • The Confederate States of America had no plans to ever phase out slavery. They literally made it unconstitutional to do so.
  • Plants do things for their own benefit, not for ours. The apple tree will feed you, and also give you loose bowels so that you fertilize its seeds. The apricot tree will try to kill you if you chew up its seeds. The opium poppy couldn't care less about human pain relief or human addiction. Plants are chemical factories focused on self-preservation and reproduction.
  • There is no perpetual motion machine, free energy device, magnetic water, or lossless 99% data compression algorithm.
  • The Internet contains more false information than true information.
  • Major social media companies are in the business of monetizing user-created content, by selling ads and selling user information. The users get a service at no charge, and maybe a cut of the advertising revenue. Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter are not the public square, they don't owe you freedom of speech, and they have no moral obligation to protect your privacy. They are in it for the money.
  • You will not get your friends to switch to alternative social media.
  • Don't drink chlorine dioxide bleach. Even if someone calls it "Miracle Mineral".
  • Hate is not a form of love.
  • Eventually you're gonna break that old mercury-filled thermometer.
  • We've had secure encryption for 40 years. If you require backdoors, the Bad Guys will not use your broken encryption product, because they have access to the real thing.
  • Making an imprint of your little brother's hair with Silly Putty will not end well.

There is nothing immoral about being ignorant. You are not an inferior human being if you're ignorant. All of us are ignorant on most topics. However, none of this protects you from the consequences of being ignorant.

You are, of course, welcome to disagree with any of the statements on my list. But you would be wrong.