June 19, 2017
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After Donald Trump won the election, the Central Politburo of the Free Media© came up with the official interpretation of their defeat: Fake News™. People on Facebook were pasting news from shady sites saying that the Pope had endorsed Trump, and that led to Trump winning. Or something.
Now, I don’t know who came up with Fake News, but man, he struck a nerve. As a meme, Fake News is perhaps the biggest and most rapidly expanding one I’ve ever seen. It’s everywhere, the Left uses it to shit on Trump; the right uses it to shit on the Left. And not only in the West; go on any Asian internet forum and everybody is talking about Fake News this and Fake News that, translated to every language.
Now there’s a pattern to how memes expand. The same as words, really. They just serve a function. People adopt a new word usually because it fits in a mental pattern they already had, and it allows them to do something which is very useful. Some Cathedral honcho came up with Fake News for the sole reason to imply that Trump wasn’t a legitimate president; but the fact is people all over the world were already starting to understand that the news media wasn’t telling the objective truth. More often than not the media is just spinning facts in order to build a narrative for their own partisan political gain. Which is the very definition of the string “Fake News” as it is used today. CNN shits on Trump? Fake News. Fox News says something bad about the Democrats? Fake News. The NYT comes up with some corruption case about Xi Jinping’s advisors? 假新闻. Koreans come up with yet another sex slave from 1940? フェイクニュース. Somebody saw the King of Thailand fucking a dog? ข่าวปลอม.
So now that people understand what the news media is all about, and have a word to express it, it’s obvious that Fake News is here to stay. Which is a great thing; it’s quite accurate after all, even if Fake News gets thrown around to everywhere the enemy tribe says. What I don’t get is why the concept is yet to be extended to other extremely similar cases of content being sold as objective truth when it’s obviously just some story spun for political purposes. I’m talking of course of the scientific establishment. 90% of which is Fake Science. Global Warming? Fake Science. Social psychology? Fake Science. Economics? Fake Science. All of it.
Usually when some media apparatus or somebody on social media came up with some lame scientific paper and used it to justify anything, people who actually knew something about it would caution about Gell-mann amnesia. Which is a great concept to have. But it lacks the punch and ready accessibility of Fake Science. So let me propose that when any scientific article which isn’t about engineering or hasn’t been replicated n times and resulted in an actually workable and useful idea be deemed Fake Science. Just throw it around on Twitter, I think it’ll stick.