There is something about being a father that rewires a person’s brain. I know there have been scientific studies on it and all that but I do not know what they are. I often wonder if my rise in empathy and compassion was because of my children or if I would have faced the issues of the past year and a half the same without them.
That brings me to the facing of the last year and a half. Social media is uniquely designed to benefit the spread of disinformation. It combines the powers of frequency bias with social proof in an alarming way. I know whenever I open Facebook I am walking into a cognitive minefield but that doesn’t mean I don’t see the disinformation nor understand its pull.
Someone on my feed shared a post of a child in a hospital bed and claimed that they were put their by the covid vaccine. Whether they were or weren’t is irrelevant at this point. It was shared by someone I know personally, social proof, and if I had been more in that circle I am certain I would have seen that post or ones similar shared by others, frequency bias.
Disinformation feasts on these two aspects of social media. What we see doesn’t need to be true for us to believe it. It needs to be frequent and available. I can find hundreds, thousands of similar posts all over social media sharing the same lie. If Aunt Gertrude and Cousin Frank are saying the same thing then it’s something to think about.
This is why a father recently shot his two children with a spear gun. He was sucked into the world of conspiracy theories and misinformation. He believed they had serpent DNA and I’m not exactly sure what. My kids could be the spawn of an ancient Assyrian dragon for all I care. I’m not shooting them with a spear gun. If my children were the devil I’d raise them and then help them capture the souls of the damned. That’s what you do for your children. You don’t go around shooting them with spear guns because Johnny Alphabet told you too.