For my geek friends, the word Data invokes the image of an android man trying to be human, a modern tin man so to speak.  We all loved Data, although after three Star Trek movies that showed him getting emotions and going a bit bat shit, the trope became tiring.  There are other stories to tell, Star Trek writers… and no, not the god awful reboot series you’re working on now which retcons some of the finest moments in the history of the series and movies into action movie trope cliche crap.  I mean Khan – best Star Trek villain ever! – turned into a political action figure with a British accent.  Sigh… stop fucking with our memories, you ass hats.

I love articles like THIS ONE about debunking myths that purportedly debunk a myth.  IE, the debunkers turned out to be wrong about their premise about the myth.  In this case they started with the example of Popeye getting super strong from the high iron levels in spinach, and how this was later debunked in the 1970’s when it was determined that researchers in the 19th century probably had misplaced a decimal point about the amount of iron in the leafy green goodness.  Subsequent folks repeated this “fact” about the missed decimal point by quoting the first person who surmised this might have been the case, and subsequent folks quoted them.  Quotes were built upon other people’s citations in a never ending daisy chain of mistakes.  Let’s call it quote inception.  What really happened was improperly methodology (not a missed decimal point) lead to an improper result.  It was corrected within a few years/decades, long before Popeye existed and the new results published.  But those who surmised the misplaced decimal point problem didn’t know that, were only guessing, and everything that came after was its own myth.

The internet is full of this happy bullshit.  Fake photos passed off as real are common because photoshop is so easy to use and so many people have it, or programs like it.  I recently came across FACTUALLY, a new site run by Gizmodo, that helps catch photo fakes and other false stories that are being passed around as truths.  And there are plenty of things here I’ve seen before posted on my social media feed by well-intentioned friends and family who aren’t skeptical of the information they are being presented with.  They trust folks to tell the truth and can’t always sniff out the lies.  I’m guilty of it, too, having passed off a false quote attributed to Ghandi that shows up on this site as having been used by Trump and Sanders.  It’s bad enough to see all the lies being spread as truths so folks can either get a laugh at the expense of others, or downright deceive people by reinforcing certain political viewpoints.  But we also need to take care that those debunking these lies are spreading real truths as well, not more myths.  Still, I will continue to turn to Factually and other sites like Snopes to find out the truth behind claims.

But not everything online is false or bad. As a writer, I look for quality content to help me with my craft.  THIS VIDEO  is an excellent break down of dialogue in cinema and what makes for effective, interesting conversations between characters.  There are examples of good/bad exposition dumps, banter, revealing character through conversation, and talking around issues instead of at them.  I loved it, and the contents of this apply equally well to writers.  If you’re having trouble with dialogue, check it out for some help, it’s worth the twenty minutes of your time it will take.

Be skeptical.  Be MORE skeptical than you are.  If a picture with a story is posted that reinforces your political views, treat it with an eye towards debunking it and proving it false.  Don’t be led around by the nose all the time.  In fact, I highly recommend divorcing yourself from as much online news and meme content as possible.  Most of it has been twisted to fit an agenda and serves little purpose except to mislead us.  The truth is damned tough to dig down to, but its your job to find it, pull the nuggets out, and treasure them.

Off to write.  I’m damned close to 40,000 words this month and loving it more and more every day.  Oh a writer’s life for me… the game is afoot!

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