Monday, March 05, 2018

Not From the Future

Is there no real news to report anymore?  You'd certainly think so from the number of 'headlines' I see on news aggregators for newspaper stories concerning so called 'time travellers', crashed UFOs, supposed ghosts caught on camera and the like.  I know that British tabloids have always had a fixation on the paranormal, but they used to be content to confine such 'stories' to the 'silly season' in late Summer.  Aside from scheduling, the other new thing about this rash of so called stories are their source.  Increasingly, it seems, the tabloids are mining the web for this material, rather than waiting for the nutters to come to them, as was traditionally the case.  It's certainly cheaper as they don't have to bung some lunatic a few quid for their fantasies and accompanying blurred and indistinct photos.  For a lot of the 'crashed UFO' stories they just refer to those supposed anomalies you can find on Google Maps which some fruitcake has highlighted on their crackpot website - which means that the newspaper can just reproduce the same snapshot from Google Earth.

The 'time travel' stories, by contrast, all seem to emanate from You Tube, which seems to have become home to a plethora of videos featuring sad bastards who claim to come from the year 2525, 6022, 2118 or Year Million.  Except, of course, that none of them do: they are from right here, right now.  Despite all their dire warnings of how we face disaster if we do or don't do this, that or the other, none of them seem to be able to produce any proof that they come from the future.  Surely it would be pretty straightforward for them to be able to predict a string of upcoming events, (sports scores, election outcomes, celebrity deaths, Oscars results, for instance), with such accuracy and quantity that couldn't be explained by mere chance?  Yet they don't.  If I were a time traveller going back in time and wanting to be taken seriously, I'd make out sure that I'd armed myself with plenty of such facts concerning the era I was going back to.  Obviously, these guys (for they all seem to be male), would claim that revealing such details could undermine the integrity of the space-time continuum and possibly change history.  To which I would reply that this isn't an episode of Doctor Who.  Correctly predicting some sports scores or the like isn't going to alter future history. 

These people are clearly not time travellers.  Rather, they are hoaxers, attention seekers, exhibitionists and plain old crackpots.  Perhaps some of them really do believe that they come from the future.  In which case they are delusional, mentally ill.  In any case, we really should not be encouraging them by printing their made up stories in newspapers.  In fact, You Tube shouldn't be allowing these videos stay up.  They seem to be keen to take stuff down for all sorts of reasons, ranging from politics to copyright infringement, yet are happy to allow the mentally ill to be exploited by the press.  So, really, stop encouraging these nutters - it isn't fair on them, it certainly isn't fair on readers to continually be served up their fantasies rather than real news.  Remember, they are not from the future - they are just fruit cakes.

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