Ever play that game in elementary school where the teacher tells one kid something and that kid tells someone else, and it goes around the room until each student has told someone else?
It’s an exercise to show how rumors and fact can be readily distorted, at least it’s supposed to be. Whether it gets through the little minds of an elementary student is debatable. But it did with me.
When I went to elementary school the “Internet” wasn’t called the Internet and your average everyday person didn’t even have a computer. Such a short time and we’ve come so far from those primitive times that were only a short time ago.
And we’ve come to far with the rumor mongering and the distortion of fact. Something that would have taken take weeks, months, or years to circulate a few decades ago can now be spread within hours. And it can become established as a “fact” in the same amount of time.
Yesterday I received an e-mail from a relative. It was one that has been circulating for quite some time and purports to show a sunset and a moon crescent at the North Pole. The moon is gigantic; and the crescent itself even has a bit of a pixel mismatch. The angular degree of the sun and moon are incorrect also. The scene is, to me, obviously a photorealistic rendering.
Yet, it’s been spread around the Internet as real. It’s been forwarded, copied, re-copied and even shown on news programs, and worse yet on astronomy websites. Not to mention many photography and art and graphic-oriented sites, and such.
Despite a Snopes reference to it and the artist’s own explanation of what the picture was created to be, as well as his attempts to get the word out that it was his and just an art piece – it still continues to spread and pop-up.
It’s viral because it’s so good, even though it’s not real. There’s no stopping it, and it will probably be spread around as real for years to come.
Same thing happened this winter with some photos from south of us. These photos were of the tremendous snowfall south of here, and some of the photos even seemed to be from years ago. The person who posted them posted them on a blog as being from Watertown. As in ‘look at how much snow Watertown has gotten’. We didn’t get as much snow as was shown, even near that much – obviously the pictures weren’t from here.
It wasn’t long before this was picked up by other bloggers, websites, even news websites. It was presented as fact with comments like “Look how much snow we get in Watertown” (even though that person might really be in Watertown and knew we didn’t get that much).
For awhile there I saw it everywhere.
The same thing is happening with Obama. I’m no big fan of the guy (though he’s better than the alternative, gah), but a large numbers of things are being distorted and spread as fact – which is wrong. And of course a number of the things are deliberately being done by his detractors.
I know from first-hand experience how easy it is for someone who has an ax to grind with you to spread crap, cultivate it, let it grow and expand to ruin your reputation, even encompassing people who know you well.
In other words – it’s easy to stain someone’s reputation or cause anything you wish to be accepted as fact if you put some work into it, but it’s very hard to reverse it. And humans being the way they are; wired for first impressions – it’s sometimes impossible.
Upper NY Modified Garmin Maps
I’ve finally started to upload some of my modified maps for Garmin eTrex series GPS’s (and maybe other Garmins).
These are MUCH better than the ones that come on the unit. Though they are far from complete now.
These have detailed road maps for Jefferson County, Lowville, Syracuse, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Fulton, and the city of Oswego. And surrounding area. The cities and areas are searchable. If you want routable ones you will find the .img file included int eh zip, which you can re-compile to be routable, I believe.
I will be updating them with GPS POI’s and maybe even topography. But for now – here’s the file. It’s called ‘upperny.zip’ and should contain all the files needed. Of course, standard disclaimers apply – use at your own risk, no guarantees, pay attention to your driving if using in a car, etc.
To use create a directory in your Garmin directory called ‘upperny”, unzip this file into it, and click the ‘upperny.reg’ file. Allow it to update your registry.
Once you have done this load Mapsource and you should be able to access the new Upper NY map.
I’m pretty new to map-making in general, map-converting, and creating custom maps that are uploadable to GPS’es, so please let me know if it works (I’ve tried installing the map on a few other computers and it seems to work fine – once it’s in Mapsource you’re fine, just upload it normally to your GPS).
(The is blog entry below is no longer relevant)
New Blogger Feature out of Draft Now – Scheduled Blog Entries
Now you can write blog entries and schedule them to be posted at a certain time in Blogger.com. Real nice, there’s been a few times when I’ve wanted to do that.
Guess it had to happen. There’s software for using your camcorder, digital camera, and other photo devices as a webcam. Now Mobiola lets you use your cameraphone as a webcam.
It works through Bluetooth, WIFI, or USB (depending on what your phone is equipped with, of course). Could be good potential for use in the poor man’s spy equipment chest…