Updated 20 August 2004
Credibility, if you can believe it, is a person or statement believable or worthy of belief. This immediately eliminates lawyers, politicians, pathological liars (pardon the redundancy), and oft times, religious fundamentalists. It also reduces or eliminates the believability of anything they might say or write -- or for that matter, think.
Bertrand Russell said, many moons ago, "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." A corollary to this is that anyone who is cocksure about something almost always lacks credibility. Anyone absolutely certain about something has typically closed down their receptors for incoming information, and thus they have eliminated any ideas or concepts which might contradict their firmly established beliefs. On this basis their pronouncements are no longer credible.
It is very important to recognize that these people have decided to close their minds to anything that might challenge their beliefs. They have become willfully ignorant. In all respects they have chosen, of their own free will, to be as stupid as a fence post. With apologies to Betrand Russell, it's not that the cocksure among us are necessarily all lacking in intelligence -- many are members of Mensa, possess Ph.D.'s, and have impressively high IQs. But they have chosen to close their minds (and hearts) to other possibilities. The result is that their opinions have no value and no credibility.
The current political situation is just one case in point, where the leader of the most powerful nation on the earth has chosen willful ignorance. Instead of making decisons based on all the facts -- or even an attempt at the whole truth -- he has instead eliminated all traditional avenues of incoming information. He reads no newspapers, news magazines, or anything else of content -- and instead has limited all data input to what he is told by a very small cadre of inside staffers. Even the election rallies he attends are so stringently choreographed that there is almost no chance that any one with an alternative viewpoint might possibly get the ear of the President and thereby suggest that perhaps not everything is peaches and cream in the heartland. This so-called leader might as well be playing croquet with Alice In Wonderland.
The end result of such limited access to alternative viewpoints is that all decisions are based on biased, narrow-minded, prophecy-fulfilling information input by equally biased and inherently, willfully ignorant people. Thus the decisions become biased, narrow... and so forth. It's the old computer adage: GIGO, i.e. Garbage In, Garbage Out.
One is reminded of Rush Limbaugh, the very conservative radio/tv commentator, who was reported some time ago to have lost a significant portion of his hearing. The irony is that inasmuch as Mr. Limbaugh has not really listened to anyone else' viewpoint in decades, it's no surprise that his hearing might have failed, if only from lack of use. It's the equivalent of the brain adage: use it or lose it. And thus without an open mind or a willingness to hear any other viewpoint, we obtain zero credibility in Rush's arguments.
Admittedly, there is equal danger in the opposite condition, wherein too much data or input information can cause the truth to be lost in the shuffle. And this is where the Inter Net comes into play. One might ideally like as input the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But also perhaps, only the relevant truth.
The difficulty, of course, is what constitutes relevancy. In a world of connections, where all things are related in some manner or another, it is difficult to prejudge information as to its relevancy to any given issue. You just never know what might become relevant once you have enough information available.
One test is receiving and then accepting or rejecting various e-mails and allusions to specific web sites with amazing, often shocking relevations. One such tongue-inserted-firmly-cheek articles says pretty much what needs to be said in regard to all the stuff out there (all purporting to be absolutely true). As such it is well worth recanting here. Just keep in mind that without Discrimination, all the truth in the world will quickly become veiled or lost in the sheer mass of... uninhibited speculations. And we wouldn’t want that would we? Or would we? And just exactly who’s “we”?
I read it on the Internet!
I was on my way to the post office to pick up my case of free M&M's, sent to me because I forwarded their e-mail to five other people, (celebrating the fact that the year 2000 is "MM" in Roman numerals), when I ran into a friend whose neighbor, a young man, was home recovering from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken - which is predictable, since as everyone knows, there's no actual chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is why the government made them change their name to KFC.
Anyway, one day this friend went to sleep and when he awoke he was in his bathtub and it was full of ice and he was sore all over and when he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEYS HAD BEEN STOLEN!!!
He saw a note on his mirror that said "Call 911!", but he was afraid to use his phone because it was connected to his computer, and there was a virus on his computer that would destroy his hard drive and infect all the electronics in his house if he opened an e-mail entitled "Join the crew!" He knew it wasn't a hoax because he himself was a computer programmer, who was working on software to prevent a global disaster in which all the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It's true - I read it all last week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)
The poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report his missing kidneys, but a voice on the line first asked him to press #90, which unwittingly gave the bandit full access to the phone line at the guy's expense. Then reaching into the coin-return slot he got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle, around which was wrapped a note that said, Welcome to the world of AIDS."
Luckily he was only a few blocks from the hospital - the one where that little boy who is dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for everyone in the world to send him an e-mail and the American Cancer Society has agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail he receives. I sent him two e-mails and one of them was a bunch of x's and o's in the shape of an angel (if you get it and forward it to more than 10 people, you will have good luck but if only 10 people you will only have OK luck and if you send it to fewer than 10 people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS).
So anyway, the poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital, but on the way he noticed another car driving without its lights on. To be helpful, he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot as part of a gang initiation.
Send THIS to all the friends who send you their junk mail and you will receive 4 green M&Ms, but if you don't, the owner of Proctor and Gamble will report you to his Satanist friends and you will have more bad luck: you will get cancer from the Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your shampoo, your wife will develop breast cancer from using the anti-perspirant which clogs the pores under your arms, and the U.S. government will put a tax on your e-mails forever.
I know this is all true 'cause I read it on the Internet!
When you stop laughing, you can return to Communications, Media, Education, under the auspices of The Library of ialexandriah, or forge ahead to Discrimination, the cure for what might ail you now that you’ve been exposed to the above. OR go directly to Laughter, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, but still manage somehow to avoid jail.
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