Saturday, February 24, 2007

Alternate Reality Lives

In 2004 a Bush administration official famously labeled Bush's critics as members of the reality-based community for their desire to judge each situation based on the evidence and described Bush's preferred alternative universe in which adminstration supporters create their own reality. The idea received considerable attention at the time, and rightly so, for its remarkable disdain for enlightenment principles.

And now? The flight from reality continues and construction of that alternate universe pushes on. Fox Television has decided to respond to shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report with their own conservative take on humor, The Half Hour News Hour. Of course, the fact that the former two riff on material gleaned from conservative shows like O'Reilly and Fox News makes Fox's version oddly self-referential. It's also, judging from its poor quality and low ratings, not funny. But don't take our word for it, see for yourself. Just don't let your laughter drown out the canned laugh track.

On a related note, it seems that Wikipedia is also too liberal for the conservatives. In order to counter the anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Christian slant of Wikipedia, conservatives have started their own wiki - Conservapedia. I kid you not. So what's they're take on reality? Oh, the usual: intelligent design, global warming, God and all things America. Just a small example of the anti-American attitude on Wikipedia that they intend to combat:

Wikipedia often uses foreign spelling of words, even though most English speaking users are American. Look up "Most Favored Nation" on Wikipedia and it automatically converts the spelling to the British spelling "Most Favoured Nation", even there there are far more American than British users.
Ahh, how charming. And how do the facts of evolution stand up against the facts of intelligent design?

...even though most Americans (and probably most of the world) reject the theory of evolution, Wikipedia editors commenting on the topic are nearly 100% pro-evolution.

Did you follow that? Majority rules. I believe this is why Stephen Colbert's "truthiness" took word of the year. You have to see it to believe it.


At 03:04, Blogger Tororoshiru said...

First, thanks for the news about Conservapedia...
In a state of fascination, I browsed several pages, and while I was reading them, I could not help growing some uncertainty about the possibility it could be some quite elaborated hoax...
Finding such gems as:

"The USA is rightly considered by its patriotic citizens to be the best country in the world. Previously such beliefs (also known as Manifest destiny) were held by citizens of former superpowers, such as the Roman Empire, the Soviet Union and the Third Reich)." (from article USA)


"St. Thomas Aquinas is further known for his famous observation that the Devil cannot withstand mockery. Mockery can be useful in defeating a bad idea or temptation." (from article Thomas Aquinas)

gave food, in my mind, to the suspicion that either some subtle tentative defacing could be at work throughout it, or the entire project could have been a hoax from the beginning...
Strange feeling. Does that make me a conspirationist?

At 16:22, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

If I had to venture a guess, I'd say your theory on defacement is correct. I would call the whole project a victim of the open-source wiki model. The posts became progressively more off kilter as the days progressed. The original posts that I saw showed just enough conservative bent to seem legitimate. They also started to show that hallmark of liberal comedy, sarcasm. Last I checked, the whole thing was down. It seems the liberal posse was trying to have a bit too much fun.


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