eConfusion – A new disease (Originally posted Monday, January 10, 2011)

I saw a video clip last night, apparently of the Joburg mayor giving an address that would make Al Pacino in Rain Man seem lucid. He stumbles of difficult words like ‘our’, almost bursting into song, and eyeing the left of his position like his wife and mistress are glaring at him from that spot. Very funny, totally indicative of the doublespeak method of saying nothing beloved by our politicians, but not quite accurate. When I saw the video, of the ‘mayor of joburg’, the name Amos Masondo popped into my mind. This morning I googled his face, and surprise surprise, is not him in the video. Equally, a few months ago, I got a mail of a house with fishtanks in the wall that was apparently Julius Malema’s one house. Now I live in the same road as that house, and its not Julius’. Not close. I discovered it belongs to the ‘Da Silvas’ So what am I trying to say here. We’ve all got mails saying ‘Bill Gates will buy you a mansion if you forward this’ or ‘Mars will be as big in the sky as the moon’ and there’s much more reason for a thinking e-mail user to question the truth of these claims, and even websites like http://www.hoax-slayer.com/ that provide the truth about such things. And usually they’re a marketing scam farming email addresses, or someone out to screw with the recipient. But in the case of the Amos and Julius mails, this angle is missing. So why did the idiot who put that information into the mail in the first place do it? Why say this is the mayor of Joburg speaking, when if the author has spent 20 seconds on google they would have found out otherwise. Is it laziness? Is it a case of someone thinking they know more than they do? Is it a wishful thinking, or based on what that oke at the bar said? Regardless of the source, its a lie. And now a growing number of people in email-land think that Julius Malema has fishtanks in his walls, and that Amos Masonde doesnt have glasses or a chubby face.

Will the real Mayor of Joburg please stand up…

So please, dont take everything for granted, in email or life. Being informed is one of the most powerful tools of this age, and one of the most abused. And google is just a click away… use it.

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