By Scott Linscott
The question came from a friend who noticed that my former Facebook fascination faded recently. (Nice alliteration, huh?) “You okay? You’ve disappeared.”
My lack of selfies has left her concerned. My posts have decreased to one a day or less and those are these blog things so they kinda don’t count.
It’s true. Facebook and I have decided to see other people and I have retreated to my top-secret lab where I am working on a game-changing invention.
What invention? In my patent application I have called it “Woof! Pants.”
Sounds like something to do with dogs, right? But, trust me, it has nothing to do with dogs.
I am working on an invention that will make pants combust at the very instant anyone posts a lie or forwards lies.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” is the song that gave me the idea. I think there would be less lying if people’s pants burst into flames with every lie.
Oh, wait, I probably offended someone. Lies are not lies now but are something called “misinformation.” That’s so much less offensive.
I don’t think my mother would have bought into that. “Mom, I didn’t lie. I gave you misinformation.” She’d reach for her paddle immediately if I tried that.
Anyway, my invention would ultimately either wipe out humanity in an apocalyptic fire, or, it would end the social media love for libel and lying.
“Scott, are you suggesting torching me if I repost or share something that is misinformation?”
“You mean a lie? Yeah, that’s exactly the idea. It’s spontaneous combustion – WOOF! PANTS ON FIRE!'”
“But what if I didn’t know it was a lie … er … I mean, misinformation.”
“WOOF! Not “woof” like a dog, but “woof” like a charcoal grill doused with a whole bottle of lighter fluid.”
“I probably wouldn’t share anything until I checked it. That’s crazy talk.”
“No, actually, that’s exactly the idea. People would be a lot more careful.”
So, say, you share:
- Migraine cure found: cream of tartar. “WOOF!”
- Mail-in ballots are different than absentee ballots. “WOOF!”
- CS Lewis wrote this big thing about politics in Screwtape Letters. “WOOF!”
I could go on and on. Woof, woof, woof.
I’m stalled at the moment trying to make one addition. I’m trying to think of a modification that will maybe shock or stun someone who switches the burden of proof onto disproving things. I mean, basically, they say anything that cannot or has not been disproved is therefore true and factual.
The rationale goes like this:
“Well, you can’t disprove that there is a hidden society of weather gnomes hiding in the Himalayan Mountains controlling the world’s weather and making it worse!”
Proof requires demonstration to establish fact. Consider the following claims. Which can easily be proven? Which could I say, “well, you can’t prove it didn’t happen. I know what I saw?”
- A pterodactyl landed on my lawn this morning. I know it was a pterodactyl because it urinated and the p was silent.
- My dog, PomPom, urinated on my lawn this morning. I could not hear it, so the p is silent again meaning I should call her “om-om.”
What do you think? Well, both questions deserve more exploration before just forwarding this breaking news to all our social media pals.
I’m really stuck on this part of my invention. The “liar, liar, pants on fire” concept is fairly straightforward but I know no catchy rhyme for the prover stunner/shocker part. That might have to wait for phase two of my invention.
I may be back to Facebook if I get this up and running. I can’t promise it will be ready for mass distribution by November 1.
Honestly, right now it’s just in concept form all up here in my head. I was planning to go on Shark Tank to get funding but I have no answers to these questions:
1) Will government fund this? (No, it would mean WOOF for Washington.)
2) Will “evangelical Christians” buy it? (Oh, geez, that would bring “fresh fire” for sure.)
3) How about Wall Street? (Um, no, definitely not.)
4) The media, then? (Bahaha! That’s hilarious!)
5) Facebook? (And lose all the income from click-bait and viral misinformation??? That’s a big no!)
I guess my invention is doomed. Dang it! I really thought I was onto something.
Anyway, I’m not on Facebook much anymore beyond these blog babblings and pics for family and friends who love us and want to see the kids.
Don’t worry, I’m fine. I’m feeling better actually. I’m trying to focus more on those old manuscripts I like to read.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.Psalm 19:14 New Living Translation