Thursday, September 8, 2011

People Say Things

It’s true. I pride myself on writing honest post titles. People do say things. I say things too, like ‘I have respect for religion’ and ‘I don’t cheat at Words With Friends’, they aren’t particularly true, but I’ve said them nonetheless. Just the same, those things that people say usually end up being pretty erroneous when you actually look into them. It might not be because they are trying to be disingenuous, but mainly because they have unwittingly succumbed to some half-baked theory. So without any further ado, here are the things that I often hear people say, in descending order of frequency, that are in need of some serious debunking:

“Macs don’t get viruses”
If there is anything that trumps everything that is illogical and shallow-in-thought in the world, it’s this. For those that aren’t aware, the theory that Macs don’t get viruses was manufactured by a retarded phenomenon of thought, born inside the mind of some envious indie kid in the hopes of winning over Gates supporters about a decade ago.

The whole theory is just a paperweight on people’s intelligence; a grinder of thy bones. It’s sort of like if somebody were to one day discover a huge hole in the vault wall of a major bank, giving just about anybody free reign to just walk in and make themselves rich. The discoverer doesn’t take any though; the discoverer just tells people where the bank is and its closing times. So, as the word spreads, the hole still doesn’t get repaired, money continues to flow into the vault and nobody but those authorised ever touch the money. Over a decade later, Justin Long has made everybody aware of the bank and the opportunity that surrounds it, yet in all that time and all that publicity, nobody ever pockets any money; not one cent. Ridiculous, you say? Bullshit, I say. We live in an exploitative world. Before the word even spread, the bank would’ve been cleaned out. Well, that unlikely tale is actually just this virus-free Mac theory, just applied in another scenario. To translate: Mac OS is the bank, the fact that if a hacker wants to do something, the hacker can do it is the hole and the people are us.

The whole point that I am driving towards is this: Sure, Mac OS probably didn’t have any viruses in the early adoption stages, but that would be true of any new operating system, at least until everybody starts boasting about how it doesn’t get viruses…oh hey! That’s exactly what’s happening now. In fact, a few years ago, an anti-malware feature was sewn into the lining of the platform. See what I mean? Do you really think – and I mean really think – that everybody believing that ‘Macs don’t get viruses’ and then leaving their machines unprotected in light of that belief wouldn’t prompt hackers to exploit the shit out of it?

“All soft drinks have caffeine”
Time and time again has somebody tried to convince me that all soft drinks have caffeine in the mix and it's time I rung the bullshit-bell. I'm not sure where along the line people got the silly idea that carbonating somehow goes hand-in-hand with caffeinating, but it’s a total fallacy, I mean, cups of coffee don't have soda in them, do they? As a teenager, I made it my life's work to guzzle as much of anything fizzy possible, and even though I have seriously toned down my consumption these last couple of years, I like to think that I know what it is I’m about to drink whenever I crack open a bottle, but to cover my black ass, I did my homework anyway.

Whenever I was exposed to this misinformation, my standard argument I'd always give these morons was that only cola-flavoured soft drinks contained caffeine. Admittedly, after reading into ingredients on the web, I found that my defence to the theory was as incorrect as the stupid theory itself - in Australia, Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew contains caffeine. The fact that Dr Pepper has caffeine failed to surprise me, but when I read about Mountain Dews caffeine content, it blew my freakin' mind, so the following day I picked up a can of my own and only after reading the ingredients on the back for myself did I realise that I'd been dooped (so if you ever stumble across this site, take anything it says with a grain of salt.) That leaves us with Colas and Dr Pepper, and I won't fuck around, should the latter even be counted in this? Australians don't drink it and it's seldom found in our refrigerators, in neither the shop nor the home.

So, in review, lets have a look at Australia: soft drinks that contain caffeine include cola-flavoured ones, Dr Pepper,…oh, wait; that’s it; hmm, that doesn't sound like all soft drinks, I mean, off the top of my head, that leaves the entire Fanta range, Sprite, Mountain Dew, Ginger Ale, Sunkist, 7 Up...need I even continue?

“Reverse your PIN code at the ATM to call the cops”
This shit has ‘R.I.P. Jackie Chan’ written all over it. The idea is if somebody's mugging you and wants you to empty your bank account at the ATM, you can secretly call the cops by typing your PIN code backwards, while the offender is none the wiser. At first glance, the theory sounds like a smart and plausible idea, but then when you analyse it for any more than two minutes, you realise that it’s just as stupid as door handles in a restroom. Now, I don’t know about you, but whenever I go out mugging people at quiet ATMs, I do it after they’ve typed their PIN in, sometimes even after they’ve taken their cash out; it's just a rule of thumb in my robbery repertoire. What good is someone that might be calling the cops under the guise of typing in a PIN code? Besides, this saves me using my gun. Hey, I know a neat trick: next time you go out to get some fast-cash, type your PIN backwards three times and see what happens.

“It’s safer to work in a prison than anywhere else”
This probably doesn’t even deserve to be on this list. It could be discussed ‘til the end of time. The argument is that working in a high-security facility, manned by armed guards, is safer than working in a place that has no armed guards, and in that respect, I give this observation a stadium-applause. The part that I struggle with is the part where the guarded workplace is a prison, frequented by burglars, murderers and rapists; meanwhile, any other workplace is just a peaceful and conventional location, which would rarely come across any of those sorts of people. It’s a little like standing near a guy who is erratically firing a machine gun in your direction, but you argue that you’re safer than everybody else in the world, no matter how far away they are, because you’re clad with Kevlar; it’s hardly looking at the big picture.

"No gherkin and the McDonalds Cheeseburger is a dessert"
Myth, myth, myth – even the thirteen year old cashier selling it to you knows that there is nothing supporting this; case closed.

“Lenseless glasses look mega rad!”
What moro…enough said.

So, there's some food for thought. Unfortunately for us, there are so many myths, old-wives tales and urban legends flying out of people's mouths and into earshot that we can't possibly fact-check everything without some sort of assistant to guide us through every interaction. My main goal here was to do the fact checking for, not only your education, but for mine too. The disrespectful tone in this post, however, is the tenth-degree burn I feel in my brain whenever a large group of people haphazardly bow-down to and then spread theoreticals that really don't require an internet connection or an encyclopaedia to realise that whoever sneezed it on you is clearly a moron, it only requires some good 'ol common sense, something that we as a people have become so bankrupt of. I mean, ‘Macs don't get viruses’? Really, people? Where are we living? A fairy tale land? Think about the shit you're spreading, guys.

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