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I’m Credulous, Not Gullible

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I was searching the internet the other day and came across a very interesting site. I always use Google when searching on the net and if I don't find what I want on the first results page, I seldom check past the first page of results. Instead, I'll refine my search criteria to find what I'm looking for.

Antarctica

I can't remember what I was looking for that day, but it doesn't matter. I got sidetracked and found this site about the "true" Antarctica, not the stereotypical cold wasteland that we all know. I was surprised to find out that there are actually cities in Antarctica! Delphia is the city where visitors first arrive on the continent. I know I am pretty ignorant about this world and know little of other countries, especially non-Latin countries. And I've been very surprised to find out similar things about other parts of this world, but I must admit, I was hugely surprised to find out that the continent I thought was only inhabited by penguins, is actually inhabited by humans too…

If you search for "Antarctica City" on Google, the first site that shows up is www.ralphrobertmoore.com – the site I was reading. I wondered, "Who is this Ralph Robert Moore guy anyways?" I figured he was just someone who had travelled to Antarctica and wanted to tell the world about his experiences there. Well, after a little investigation, I found this on his site:

In Antarctica, I wanted to explore a 'what if' idea. What if Antarctica, rather than being a cold, barren wasteland, was instead a populous nation of beautiful cities, green forests, blue lakes, pink glaciers, with a history going back 40,000 years? Rather than simply writing a story about that notion, I decided to create a fictional tourist-type website devoted to Antarctica, much like sites created on behalf of Germany, New Zealand, or Brazil.

So, I learned a couple of things from that. First, to read more and get all the facts before believing what you read, especially on the internet. If you read the pages on that site, Antarctica sounds like a nice place and it very gradually becomes apparent that it is too good to be true – but you have to read more than just the first couple lines… And second, I learned that my search methods of not looking beyond the first results page are too idealistic.

I've been doing a lot of searching on the internet these days and have been shocked to see how many sites exist (especially local to Calgary) that are literally impossible to find on search engines. In a conversation with my brother Alex the other day, he made me realize that most people don't know anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), (and I realized that I've been taking that knowledge for granted), and very little sites do it properly, if even at all. That's why you can't look at just the first results page – you often have to compensate for poorly coded sites in order to find what you're really looking for. Unfortunately, many Calgary sites are so bad that they're impossible to find at all.

I decided to end with this excerpt from Apple's Dictionary (New Oxford American Dictionary):

Some people will believe anything. Those who are truly gullible are the easiest to deceive, which is why they so often make fools of themselves. Those who are merely credulous might be a little too quick to believe something, but they usually aren't stupid enough to act on it.