Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quotes Rant

Ok, this is getting ridiculous! Why the hell would Albert Einstein ever say that?! He was a physicist, not a botanist! I found this image on the front page of David Icke's site and it's obvious from the file name that it came Facebook - probably some "truth" page. I called BS immediately, so I Googled the quote and found a Snopes article from 2007 debunking it.

The annoying thing is that I find this to be the case literally ALL the time. Everytime I come across an interesting quote attributed to Einstein or Ghandi or Martin Luther King or Hitler or one of America's Founding Fathers or some other famous historical figure or top globalist on a conspiracy site, I check it and I almost always find that it was mis-attributed or flat out made up.

There's no record of Ghandi ever saying "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win".

There's no record of Hitler ever saying "An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our Homeland" (As claimed by the movie Zeitgeist, for example), nor any of the Anti-Christian quotes attributed to him.

There's no record of Einstein ever having said "Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance" or hundreds of other quotes attributed to him. Same with many Martin Luther King quotes - this one, for example.

Many of the pro-gun quotes attributed to people like Thomas Jefferson that have been circulating the past few weeks seem to have been made up.

The word "fluoride" does not appear anywhere in The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben, so that often cited quote about fluoride in Nazi death camps is BS.

And Albert Pike's famous "Three World Wars" letter is a complete hoax!

I could go on and on and on. There are so many examples, I can only think of a few off the top of my head. Pretty much any quote you find on sites like QuotationsPage or BrainyQuote is probably fake. Not all of them though. Jesse Ventura opened his "63 Documents" book, with the following quote from Einstein: "A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth". Clearly Ventura got this quote from somewhere on the internet, but amazingly, it is actually genuine - sort of. In a letter to a friend of his in 1901, Einstein wrote "Autoritätsdusel ist der größte Feind der Wahrheit", which does roughly translate to what is commonly circulated ("Autoritätsdusel" literally translates to "authority daze" - not quite as poetic as "a foolish faith in authority", but the message is essentially the same).

As the Snopes article says, made up quotes are often attributed to famous historical figures for political purposes. And we're supposed to be the "truth movement". SO SOURCE YOUR DAMN QUOTES, PEOPLE! Even if a quote has a source, it's probably best to check it. That fluoride in Nazi concentration camps quote has a source after all, but the source is wrong.

Good places to check quotes: Wikiquote, Google Books, Google Scholar. If you find the quote in a book, check it's citation. If it references another book, check that book, see where they got it from. As someone who is genuinely interested in the truth, and who tries to be as academic as possible about it, few things infuriate me more than seeing these unsourced and probably fake quotes get circulated.

Rant over.

"Only three things are infinite: the universe, human stupidity and the number of fake quotes attributed to me on the internet." ~ Albert Einstein