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RANDOM TOTS (Random Thoughts) are essays that tackle topics that range from the tiniest known particle to the vast human mind.


OUR ANCESTRAL TOOL FOR SURVIVAL

One obvious thing that we humans have, aside from the insatiable thirst for power and dominance, is our instinct to remain alive.

When we began to encephalize and gained the ability recognize patterns or analyze, our survival instinct was slowly creeping into the deepest part of our being.

This was inevitable since many of our natural enemies and threats were eliminated, mostly by deforestation and pollution.

However, we still have this certain feeling in us. The feeling that determines whether or not a new thing or experience is beneficial to our lives.

We doubt.

Imagine you were an early human in a forest, hungry and desperate. You come across a weird looking fruit hanging from a tree.

ape, chimp, chimpanzee

As desperate and as hungry as you are, your guts are telling you to be cautious because you’re unsure whether it’s edible or poisonous.

It was essential for our survival and still is.

READ ALSO: Nerd’s Digest: The Amazing Human Body


OUR TRUTHS AND NOT TRUTHS

As our brains progressed from instincts to reason, we eventually had the ability to invent: language, science, philosophy, math, etc.

We sought after knowledge over everything else.

Despite our constant search for knowledge and mastering these, there are some of the things we’ve perceived to be true but are really not.

Nativity Painting of People Inside a Dome

Take for example our early perception of the sky.

We thought and we were certain that the sun rose up and went down. Later on, this “truth” was not so true after all.

We later learned that the Earth is a spheroid and that it rotates on its own axis when for a certain amount of time, a part of its surface is directly lit by the sun millions of miles away.

That was undeniably the truest truth and a lot of people back then did not like this idea.

READ ALSO: Farewell, Cassini.


OUR BIASES

Beliefs and truths often mix up and form another idea.

Often times, we just regard our beliefs to be the truth.

This is where bias originates: evidence-void and preconceived notions that are based on beliefs by an “entitled” person.

When people claim truths that are void of proof, our instinct automatically tells us to become skeptical about it: a natural and evolutionary trait as discussed earlier.

Man Wearing Black and White Stripe Shirt Looking at White Printer Papers on the Wall

And as creatures who do not settle to not knowing, we find the answers through collecting information.

We begin to search for the truth just like that voyage by Magellan that proved the world is a sphere and that theory by Copernicus that the Sun is at the center.

Proving that the sun does not set and that it’s just the Earth rotating.

Sadly, it is also part of our psyche as human beings to be uncomfortable hearing what we don’t want to hear.

We like the easier, more comfortable lies.

READ ALSO: Random Tots: On Beliefs


ANOTHER WAY TO DETERMINE A FAKE NEWS

Be human.

Our species survived and flourished through our endless pursuit of and for the truth behind the mysteries that surround us.

We survived because truth holds a great value to us.

Throw away your beliefs for a moment; throw away what you think you know and search for the truth.

Related image
I think, bruh. Therefore, I am bruh.

Just as Rene Descartes did before concluding, “I think. Therefore, I am.”

Do not jump right in because you might as well be “good as dead” if you were still an early human playing with a beautiful, fragrant, deliciously edible-looking poisonous mushroom.

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2 thoughts on “Random Tots: On Fake News”

  1. I wrote a piece myself about this as well. To add, I think our educational system contributes to this indirectly as most of the things we learned are learned when in school and this includes the habits of learning and discerning information. As far as I can remember, only a few students would ask questions every lecture when I was in school (Elementary, High School, and College). The way we educate our younger generation (of not asking questions) has contributed to why we easily fall for fake news today. We are taught to learn and absorb information but not how to filter it.

    1. Thanks for your time commenting!

      That’s a very good point. If I may add, I think it’s also worth noting that there’s this norm to not ask questions in the classroom because we assume it is unwise; people who ask too much are scrutinized for their “slow acuity”. A socio-psychological factor which is prominent in the set up. As a result, people would rather not engage in asking questions and would opt to assume they know.

      This ‘norm’ which I believe is greatly affected by the standardization of educational platforms especially ones tailored from Western culture – to summarize: the teacher is the supreme being in the classroom and students are to only listen.

      To question means to know more than what is known. To question is to dismiss or validate what we perceived is known to be true.

      I think it’s time we should stop and validate before clocking someone else’s game.

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