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Fact Check This!


The other night I ordered a Hemingway Daiquiri at Bob's Chop House. I told the bartender to put it in a glass with ice. "Why not a coupe?" my daughter asked. "I don't like drinking from a glass modeled after Marie Antoinette's breast," I replied.


When Lola's eyebrow arched dismissively, I decided to prove the royal connection via Perplexity. Here's the AI app's reply to "What is the origin of the coupe cocktail glass?"


The coupe cocktail glass originated in the mid-17th century in England, designed by a Benedictine monk. It was initially created and used for drinking champagne, which had been accidentally invented in the 1400s and was becoming popular among the nobility and upper classes in France by the 1700s.

Followed by the coupe de grace:


While there are persistent rumors that the coupe was modeled after Marie Antoinette's breast, this is inaccurate as the glass predates her by about a century.

Firesign Theater


I was well and truly perplexed. How had I come to accept this mixology myth as fact? What other trivia have I been proudly presenting as quirky fact that's fatally flawed?


My dilemma reminded me of The Firesign Theater's 1974 album Everything You Know Is Wrong.


The California comedy troupe's surreal satire skewered paranormal and extra-terrestrial believers. Which needed doing.


Chariots of the Hopelessly Naive


Six years previous, Chariot of the Gods convinced more than 30m people that ancient aliens had visited Earth. Swiss author Erich Von Däniken's contention.


EVD was a convicted scam artist (embezzlement, fraud and forgery). Before cooling his heels in jail, the lapsed Catholic used his ill-gotten gains to research the "evidence" for ancient astronauts.


Including paying a Mexican to carve an ancient stone with a picture of an ancient astronaut, and bake it in donkey dung.


The criticism of EVD's best-seller from the academic community was withering. Astronomer Carl Sagan – the science guy of his day – called Chariots' popularity "sober commentary on the credulousness and despair of our times."


Chariot's original text was heavily re-written by Utz Utermann, the former editor of the Nazi Party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter.


No surprise, then, that Chariots tapped into public fear of nuclear war and global cooling [sic], and unease with science's relentless attack on religious dogma. Assuaged by the previous presence of an alien master race.


Not the kind of fun fact found in an even more profitable mania launched in 1982.


Trivial Pursuit


Trivial Pursuit challenged players' knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. Or their ability to make an educated guess. Or get lucky with a random guess. "In Greek mythology, who was the goddess of the rainbow?" Like that.


Another fun fact! More than a few of the answers in the game's original version were wrong. When confronted with the veracity issue, one of its creators famously declared "Hey. It's a game."


AI FTW?


Fast forward to today, and no one wants to play Trivial Pursuit.


By putting all the information in the world at users' fingertips, Google laid waste to the intellectual landscape that made knowing stuff "fun" and brag-worthy. Devaluing an individual's ability to know/remember anything.


AI has accelerated the change. Yes, early AI suffers from "hallucinations" and smothers answers in politically correct spin. But you can more or less trust it to accurately spill the most obscure tea in seconds.


Not that accuracy is a big thing anymore.


Joe Biden's Uncle Was Eaten By Cannibals


I find it incredible (so to speak) that easily debunked claims are accepted as fact. If they're even questioned.


How can the President of the United States assert that his uncle was eaten by cannibals without disqualifying himself from a second term as The Most Powerful Man in the World™.


Despite the instant ability to do so, or because of it, no one can be bothered to check facts. In fact, "fact" has become another word for "opinion."


Especially as AI can generate images that look like real photographs, but aren't. When AI video reaches the same heights/depths, "what you see is what you get" will lose all meaning.


At the same time, our increasingly feminized society (for lack of a less contentious term) has elevated feelings to the point where they're more important than facts.


For example, Woke Watch Canada has put an enormous amount of effort into debunking the claim that indigenous schools secretly buried students in mass graves. Pointing out the paucity of any facts substantiating the claim.


The mainstream media and the Canadian gen pop isn't interested in the truth of the matter; it contradicts the "feeling" that indigenous people are blameless victims of homicidal colonial oppression.


The Truth Will Set Your Free


I don't want to live in a world where indoctrination replaces intellectual rigor. But here we are.


Considering the possibility that everything you know is wrong – and acting upon that supposition – takes both humility and hard work.


I reckon it's worth it. The day it isn't, I'll drink a Death in the Afternoon in a coupe and hang up my spurs. Or not.


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٤ تعليقات


cadamhelmer
٣١ مايو

Robert,

You are “The Most Powerful Man in the World™”. I just updated Wikipedia to make this a fact.


Hate it the tail is now truly wagging the dog.

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lynnwgardnerusa
٣١ مايو
الرد على

I thought Robert was “The Most Interesting Man in the World” that is how he is portrayed in the beer commercials. 😁

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lynnwgardnerusa
٣١ مايو

Gee according to Amazon the author in question is one of the worlds most widely read non fiction writers with millions of books sold and translated into multiple languages. His theses of alien responsibility for ancient landmarks like the pyramids and the massive carvings in South America were proven by Indiana Jones in the documentary The Crystal Skull. Enjoy your drink. Nothing to see here….

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DrMikeinPDX
٣١ مايو

In the odd coincidence department, I ordered my very first Hemingway Daquiri just a few days ago at my favorite local speakeasy. I'm not normally a big grapefruit juice fan, but it was quite tasty! And yes, it did come in a breast shaped glass.

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