Quote unquote

Billy - The Rhino

If you can’t run, walk – Billy, The Rhino

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Sapna( that is me 😀 )

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – My neighbour

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” – My Pet Dog

What!! you don’t believe me!!? Sh&% I should have made a picture of them and shared them on Facebook then you would have liked them and shared them and increased my popularity quotient. Sigh! My bad.

Facebook is wonderful platform for everybody to express themselves. But we all don’t necessarily have anything to say on all topics. What do we do then is share something nice, witty, supremely interesting stuff by someone else. How often do we check if it is true?

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”  is commonly attributed to Einstein. But there is no evidence he said that.

“I believe that every human has a finite amount of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.” is attributed to Neil Armstrong but he denies having said this or if he may have said he may be quoting someone else or telling people it is wrong.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. I doubt it was him who said that.

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” – Not Winston Churchill.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war” – Not Plato

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” – Not Martin Luther King Jr but the Protestant leader Martin Luther.

The advent of social media and blogging has changed the information landscape. Passive consumers have become active participants in the process. Consumers have also become the producers of knowledge based on their understanding. But how do you separate the good content from the bad content. This is not a new problem. People have always known to speak without adequate knowledge. Isn’t that how rumours spread?

People not checking out isn’t the issue here but the problem here the ease and the reach of the message being spread. With social media the new can spread so fast, that leaves you dazzled at times. And mind you these are not illiterate people staying away from civilizations who are guilty but includes crème de la crème of our society.

I remember the Singapore lokpal bill story went viral online during the Anna Hazare anti-corruption Movement. It said things like in Singapore people don’t pay taxes and it spread like wild-fire. And mind you people in my friends list are mostly high-thinking individuals studying in the best of the Universities and have a high level of IQ.

My point is we need to take all this common wisdom with a grain of salt. Einstein, Gandhi, Voltaire, Plato, Benjamin Franklin, Armstrong were all great personalities, no doubt about it. But they may not have necessarily said all that is good and sane in the world that is attributed to them on Facebook or any other social media for that matter. Unless of course, it cites the right sources. Plus it is logical fallacy: Just because Einstein said it doesn’t make it true. So beware when using these quotes to support your arguments.

“Trust not everything that is said on Facebook” – Me (seriously, that is exactly why I am saying it here on my blog 😉 )