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Correcting misinformation (6) Mon, Dec 22, 2008
I have an unnatural and almost maniacal need to correct factually incorrect information.  Some of my family members witnessed this once again today as I replied to a forwarded email that contained misinformation.  It's not that I'm full of myself and so feel the need to always be right (though I am, in fact, full of myself; also, I'm always right).  And it's not that I'm a jerk who just needs to prove people wrong (though I am, in fact, a jerk; also, people are often wrong).  And it's also not that I like arguing or proving my point or getting everyone to adopt the same opinions as my own. 

[Image: xkcd386.png]

It's just that certain pieces of information are facts while other are not.  The sky is blue; the grass is green.  You can't argue with these pieces of information because they're facts.  They're not up for interpretation or for forming opinions about.  They are black and white facts.  So to allow misinformation to not only remain uncorrected but also continuing spreading, I feel like I'm doing a disservice.  I'm assisting in the spreading of misinformation. 

So this is why I often ashamedly respond to emails to tell people they're hoaxes.  Sorry, people, it's nothing personal.  Except that you're spreading lies.  Other than that, we're cool. #psychology

Comments:
Rich Mon, Dec 22, 2008
Your next-to-last sentence was a fragment.  Sorry, I had to do it!

Jenn B Mon, Dec 22, 2008
my husband does this too...and has gotten me doing it.    he always makes sure to add a link to a reference stating it's false.  when we were first married (8yrs ago) he used to do this to "reply all".  somewhere along the way he realized how embarrassing that must be for the sender (usually his mom), and how arrogant he must look, so he no longer does that.  I also am pretty sure he doesn't get many (if any) of those type of fwds anymore.  two birds with one stone.

Dave Tue, Dec 23, 2008
Rich:  Yeah but it wasn't misinformation.  There's a difference. 

Jenn:  Perhaps embarrassment is a good thing.  It shames people into checking their sources before they continue to spread misinformation.

Dana Tue, Dec 23, 2008
Just so you know, I think this runs in the family.  I, apparently, have a need to research everything I do before I do it.  I actually have books on my desk right now on cleaning, homeschooling, teaching your child to read, sewing, and the Christian history of Christmas symbols and traditions.  I think I might have a problem . . .

Dave Tue, Dec 23, 2008
Thank God for our anal retentive genes. 

On a side note, what exactly is contained in books about cleaning?

Dana Tue, Dec 23, 2008
All sorts of fun stuff, from details on how to clean your walls to the "best" products to use.  I got a book by a guy who has cleaned houses for decades, so I figured he knew what he was talking about . . . The key is to balance all the ideas with MY life - always a challenge for me.


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