November 8, 2006

Don't be an April Fool

I am a fairly mischievous person. It's one of the reasons why I like to pull pranks. I also like to keep people on their toes and remind them that they shouldn't blindly believe everything they are told or read.

This is why April Fool's is one of my favourite days of the year. Over the past several years I have crafted fake articles and published them as genuine. Two of my personal favourites include "Computer Virus Spreads to Human", (2003) and "DARPA to Develop Einstein-Rosen Bridge" (2006).

An excerpt from the DARPA article reads,
DARPA, the US military’s advanced concepts research team, is working on an ambitious project to create nothing less than an ‘Einstein-Rosen bridge'. Referred to by some physicists as ‘timeholes,’ it is thought that the US military is set to introduce time travel to the battlefield by the end of the decade.

“This is clearly the future of armed conflict,” says DARPA lead scientist Tetsuo Hasegawa, “the ability to go back in time and destroy the enemy before tensions have even arisen would represent an unprecedented advantage in the history of warfare.”
I still LOL when I read that last paragraph.

But the trouble with publishing articles like this is that a startling number of people think it's real. And then the article goes viral and becomes a disinformation menace. This is what happened with my 'virus' article. That one spread so badly that it even made some spam-alert lists. If you Google for the article, you'll see that it's still cross-linked and discussed at a number of sites.

A part of me feels bad and irresponsible when this happens, but as I stated earlier, I think it's important to remind people that they should question every single thing they read.

And I get a kick out of it.

So, you've been warned nearly 5 months in advance; beware my blog on April Fool's.

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