Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘ n’ fake news

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “fake,” came with the email note:

Did this conversation between Jesus & Mo really take place, or is it fake news?

Who knows what is real anymore?

The strip speaks for itself, except that I’d add this about door-to-door proselytizers: “Have you hear the good (fake) news?”

2017-02-01

14 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    sub

  2. Sastra
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Yes, I’ve always found it ironic when people of faith blame gullibility (“you have to have faith”) and/or pop postmodernism(“every belief is based on faith”) on humanism. Sure, that’s what happens when the focus is on reason and science.

  3. dabertini
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Brilliant!! Best one yet.

  4. Forse
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Yes, that stubborn 42% — the number that believe in Trump AND Creationism…
    Forse in Hong Kong

  5. Kevin
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I would be curious if people who think fake news is something new don’t talk to their grandparents.

    By the way, my uncle’s a Nigerian Prince whose got an amazing deal…

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, before there was a Donald, there was a Huey P. Long. He might’ve given FDR a run for his money in ’36 if he hadn’t’ve been assassinated.

  6. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    The history of fake news is illuminating if scary [ http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/fake-news-history-long-violent-214535 ]. As old as the printing press, and persisted during WWII even when objective journalism had replaced the “yellow journalism” elsewhere!?

    “Real news is not coming back in any tangible way on a competitive local level, or as a driver of opinion in a world where the majority of the population does not rely on professionally reported news sources and so much news is filtered via social media, and by governments. And as real news recedes, fake news will grow. We’ve seen the terrifying results this has had in the past—and our biggest challenge will be to find a new way to combat the rising tide.”

    More problematic is that every quality attempt withing web media has eventually been perverted to some degree by the simplistic hordes of extremists that now find an easy outlet for their opinions.

    One promising counter-technology is that deep learning AI seems to work and can be cheaply cloud implemented. So maybe we will be able to use DL filter profiles set to “skeptic”, “average” and “conspiracy theorist” to prune (respectively collect) the fakeage.

    • Posted February 1, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      AI is useless to solve the fundamental problem. What makes you think the propagandists won’t have their own AIs tuned their own way and tout their own AI-backed fake news to T-party dittoheads? It’ll even deliver exactly as promised: AI that removes the hated liberal bias from the traditional “lame-stream” establishment news.

      The problems we’re experiencing are no different from those experienced by any other society at the end of its golden age. And I see no reason to suggest that computers are doing any more to change their fundamental nature than gunpowder did.

      Gunpowder changed the way wars were fought and greatly amped up the havoc wrought, yes. But Hitler invaded Poland in a move politically indistinguishable from Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon. Radically different technology, obviously. But it was technology used by large African plains apes not meaningfully different from each other by any suitable measure.

      Take Steven Pinker’s big-arc view and we have good reason to hope that less personal misery and havoc will ensue from the end of the American Era we’re currently witnessing. Odds are probably even reasonably good, as pervertedly unlikely as it might seem at the moment, that what comes next will be more liberal and Enlightened than what we just came from — though, of course, it’s unclear how long that might take.

      And maybe computers will serve as tools to help guide us in that direction.

      But what matters is not the tools, but those who wield them. The same axe that fells and hews trees to build homes can maim and murder those who live therein.

      …of course, if and when we create computers that are themselves people, we’ve then got new players in the game. But that’s an entirely different matter….

      Cheers,

      b&

      Cheers,

      b&

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted February 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        I have every reason to believe deep learning can produce fake news. But I also know that filters remove noise.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted February 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t notice: “golden age”. If it is in the context of the printing press as the reference was, the internet era is a continuation of the information era. C.f. steam era – motive power in each factory – vs electric era – motive power in each house, both are considered part of the industrial era.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    There’s a strong case to be made that specifically the Book of Deuteronomy (5th book of the Old Testament/Tanakh and last book of the Torah) is a deliberate known fabrication on the part of King Josiah, though many sacred books are a folklore/oral-tradition anthology.

    The entire Book of Mormon and the mythology of Scientology are or course also the same.

  8. rickflick
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Fake news is a very serious issue. FB friends quite regularly share attention getting claims which are suspicious. A quick check with Snopes often identifies the fail. But what’s frightening is there is a very large segment of the population who are just not skeptical. As we saw in the election, they have ways of dismissing inconvenient truths and accepting propaganda which satisfies their preconceptions. They are not inclined to use Snopes(or other fact checks) and may not know it exists. Trump dragged these people by the nose ring up the ramp and into the truck for a short ride to the slaughterhouse.

    • Posted February 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure they’re very skeptical when it comes to the stories that contradict what they already believe to be true.

  9. Pliny the in Between
    Posted February 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Objective journalism is a pretty recent invention. Hearst was around way before Murdoch. What we consider the norm really germinated in WWII reporting and took hold with the Edward R Murrow era running up to the time when Ted Koppel retired. Since then it’s been sliding downward with the rise of 24 hr cable news and the Internet providing a world spanning bully pulpit to any twit with an agenda. So it’s less the downfall of journalism than it is completing a circle.


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