Letters to editor

There was an item in the news this morning (June 9th) about a person calling themself a doctor who testified before the Ohio legislature that people who are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus become magnetized so that their car keys, for example, stick to their foreheads. Also that the vaccine was somehow “activated” by signals from 5G cell towers. My first reaction was to note that she forgot to mention that space lasers cause vaccinated people to glow in the dark. My second reaction was to be appalled: apparently no legislator laughed at the nonsense she was spouting. And this brings up a serious issue. People find things on the internet and believe them, especially if what they are reading agrees with what they already believe or want to believe.

The internet is a wonderful tool for learning things. Unfortunately, it is also a much better tool for spreading mis-information, dis-information and downright lies. When I was teaching electrical engineering I carefully and frequently advised my students to believe nothing that they found on the internet unless they could independently verify that information or they could be sure that the source could be trusted. For example, I told them that they could be pretty confident about what they found in the Transactions of the IEEE or in the Physical Review, since these only published papers that had been reviewed for scientific accuracy and truthfulness by several people independently of each other and of the editors. I urge anyone who is seeking information on the internet to try to verify what they find independently before believing it. And verifying something doesn’t mean that if you find that website A tells you such and such is true because website B says such and such, you have verified that such and such is true by going to website B. There is a huge amount of garbage to be found on the internet, so don’t get taken in. As the old saying goes, let the buyer beware!

-Jon Orloff, Rockaway Beach


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