“Do your research!”
You’ve heard it online.
Anti-vaxxers say it.
Trumpers who hate “the libs” say it.
Climate crisis deniers say it.
Facebookers whose profiles say “no education to show” confirm it by saying it.
Oxymoronically, people who’ve never done it take triumphant delight in “winning” meaningless social media fights by declaring, “do your research!”
The online ignorati, as smart as they are, confuse real research with their cognitively biased, cherry-picked “facts” they parrot from cursory Google searches and bottom-feeding media to “prove” their opinions are God’s truth.
What they unintentionally prove is their ignorance.
Utmost apologies — I don’t mean to call anyone ignorant.
It sounds insulting. But ignorance, according to my internet research, merely means “lacking in knowledge or training,” which describes most of us about most things.
Even Einstein was ignorant when it came to personal grooming. Googling “Einstein” turns up photos of this liberal so-called “scientist” badly needing a haircut. This was pre-Covid no less.
Even I’m ignorant. After two minutes of research Googling, still don’t understand:
— Carburation, spackling, dust mites, wherefore pickle ball, the dinner specials recited by my server, the Mideast conflict, this Afghanistan thing or where Estonia is.
— Why baby bok choy hasn’t been canceled as the cruel veal of vegetables.
— Elizabeth Warren.
— The difference between ENT and otolaryngology.
— Kayne West especially his latest drop, “Donda,” or why anyone gives a good goddammed hell about Kayne anymore.
— Most of all, how to work “epistemology” into this screed.
All that said, what the blithe misuse/abuse of “research” demonstrates is not ignorance, but stupidity.
Stupidity is defined as being too clueless to realize how clueless you are.
Real research, according to my quick deep-dive Googling, is, to quote Yourdictionary.com, “Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles … so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner.”
To boil it down, “careful,” “study” and “accurate” are important factors in real research.
Ask any college grad who’s suffered countless hours in the library or online digging into vetted knowledge to write footnoted papers that aren’t completely eviscerated by tenured professors who remain professors by doing actual research that’s eviscerated by other professors.
Even idiot Facebook “do your research” claimers certainly must know, because they’re the smartest, that real research has advanced science and technology that saves us from cancer, Covid and cholesterol from Hardee’s Monster Thickburgers that research has created along with statins to combat the long-term deadly effects.
Best of all, real research has blessed humankind with the internet for idiots to post and spread fake research.
Iunderstand why Trumpers especially misuse/abuse “research.”
As a Trumpy acquaintance and her friends have discussed on my Facebook feed, college education makes people stupid. It power-washes your brain of common sense, then indoctrinates you become America-hating Socialists like the professors are. Even in chemical engineering at Stanford!
As a liberal, I expressed offense. “No, not you!” my Trumpy acquaintance furiously backpedaled. “Other liberals.”
But I respect the hate. The majority of Trumpers unfortunately lack or deliberately eschewed the opportunity of getting a college degree, so they’ve never had to do real research that a college degree requires. It’s human to hate something you don’t understand.
Some simply resent the smarty-pants coastal elites for earning 100 percent more over a lifetime from pursuing a profession that requires a college degree and research abilities.
Others take pleasure and pride in slamming higher education because, unlike other educated presidents, Trump declared he loves “the poorly educated.”
So there we have it, a Trump-Trumper lovefest against real research and advancing knowledge, a virtuous circle like disgraced water swirling down the bowl of a modern commode. Which, by the way, derived from research.
Why twist knickers about the misuse of “research”?
Why be such a word nerd anymore?
Sentient mammals including squirrels long ago gave up the fight over using “impact” as a verb once NPR — yes, even NPR — allowed it.
Texting increasingly confusing iPhone texting slang and hieroglyphics long ago terminated the last Conan the Grammarian.
Writing with grammar school grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, syntax and usage is typical White Western male colonist patriarchal elitist (Google it) and “cheugy” (Google it) in an emotionally abusive and traumatic way that should be canceled (see Huffington Post).
The problem is, fake research can be deadly.
Fake research has spread Covid and sickened and killed vax resistors who trust unaccountable charlatans, chiselers, con artists and connivers over their real doctors who would lose their license and careers for quackery.
Fake research proving a “stolen” election inspired Trumpy rioters to attack, wound and kill Blue Lives they supposedly love who were defending our Capitol.
Fake research says the Trumper Capitol insurrection never happened. Or it was a big fat nothingburger. Or that BLM, or Antifa, or the FBI, or anyone but the actual insurrecting Trumpers were responsible.
This fake research frees Trumpers who were goaded by their Facebook fellow travelers, like Joe McCarthy’s liberal Communist sympathizers of the 1950s, to insurrect again and even bigger.
Fake research keeps Trumpers believing he was robbed of reelection and inspires Trump-craven Republican legislators to make it harder for Americans who oppose Trump from voting.
Fake research is not only cynically dividing and destroying our democracy for views and money, but turning us all into nihilists who believe in nothing. That’s more than stupid — it’s the tragic, dystopian dead end for American and humankind.
Do your research!
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.