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Honoring my Mother | Netting a degree

On a daily basis, I receive private messages which in substance, are run-downs of almost everything: political events, religious sayings, health tips, disaster updates and even showbiz scoops, i.e., who’s who and breakups. Not surprising, these all come from my long-ago schoolmates (with their poor taste, he he), old acquaintances and then, our former neighbors from the old days. Bless these precious vibe energy sources of my mornings, they are like hot pan de Sal and coffee.

Often, they either become my reason to get up or stay in bed much longer. If one were to count these as blessings however, then at least, I can say that I always have my own personal daily bulletin within grasp, in my phone or PC, from which I could attune my day to accordingly, depending what really is the weather outside.

It would seem that Information sharing had indeed reached this insane level wherein the overwhelming desire to feed our “did-you-know” hungry world is only out-done by our stamping of one’s ID into each bit of news. Because of the availability of the internet monster engine, our instinctive nature to reach out and share has only become more evident, than in the past when, if viewed nowadays would seem like primitive times. As Simon Sinek put it, the urge to reach out as a result of these new technology (or toy) has eaten at us completely, that our phones have virtually become a vital human appendage. Nothing wrong with the human drive to share information, except that, like the tower of Babel in the old testament, where all the different tongues spoke at the same time, objective truth as we know it, has become subject to interpretation, mistranslation and or worse, purposeful tweaking to push each other’s motives. In other words, fake news, to be exact.

During the latter part of last year, when a series of earthquakes rocked the country and Mindanao especially, it was quite good to know that in only a matter of seconds, everyone at least got the what-when-and-where details of all that happened. In many cases, this aided in the quick mobilization of people who initiated rescue and aid missions in the stricken areas.

In the days that followed however, as “expert” opinions and analyses of the event began to flood the net, usually-mixing with those reports from official sources, these added to confusion and panic. Admittedly, for those who were not careful enough, or who just happened to leaf through social media threads, forwarding these news bits eventually became a knee-jerk reaction (some with the noble intent of informing kin and friends), so that the overall effect had been short of chaos, especially in the places affected. In the biblical sense, that’s when Babel’s tower came crashing down.

The same can be said of the most recent volcanic eruption. As an example, if one looked through the questions, comments and opinions in the many press briefings conducted by the government agency in charge, one would think that everyone had suddenly become an expert on volcanic eruptions and behavior, appearing even more adept at times than the local and foreign scientists who had long been studying the phenomenon of volcanology (and Taal in particular).

On the more-recent subject of the Wuhan virus, just try to observe the present-day threads. Only a few of these offer the usual sober approach at giving information. Most are meant to scare. Some even pass of as official or medically based-reports, which when researched thoroughly, prove to be unfounded or maliciously fake. Sad thing is, some of these heralds of doom are not even members of the medical profession. Just like the Taal eruption and the earthquakes of the recent past, people are suddenly turning up to be week-old degree holders in virology, volcanology and the seismic studies.

This morning, I received a private message that the Corona virus had already been diagnosed in one of the provinces near the city, with sketchy details plus the usual adjoining “pray for us” and “be safe everyone” messages. I just replied back that if this were true, please wait for the official report on this development before she spreads the news further. I had thought at that time, scare tactics were proving to really spread faster than the virus. I received another message that the owner of a Chinese retail store was presently confined at home because he contracted the same virus during his recent visit to Wuhan, and that everyone should refrain from visiting his crowded establishment.

Like zombies and martians, these harbingers, armed with their Google degrees thrive among us. Keep safe everyone!

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