“This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. It happens only once in 823 years.” … it’s posted all over the Internet, often with dozens of comments and jokes about how cool it is and how it’s a great month to enjoy the weekend and so on. … Is the average Internet reader so brain-dead that they believe the most egregious garbage if they see it posted on a website? … 99% of people … simply accepted it at face value. What the hell is going on here?
… most people are … happy to succumb to “argument from authority.” Basically that means if they trust the source of some tidbit of information, they believe it. And apparently a huge number of people think that if they see something posted on a blog somewhere, and it doesn’t contradict their world view, it must be true. It’s hard to imagine the five weekends thing as being a threat to any particular religion, politics, or ideology, and that’s apparently as deep as most people’s filters operate.
… No one predicted the power that television would give to the advertising industry, it completely changed aspects of our society and industry in ways that are still unfolding. And the Internet is not only expanding on that, it has proved to be a powerful tool for any group with an agenda to spread its message and both influence and convert followers.
… the above illustrated tendency of people to uncritically believe something they read is a tremendous loophole in human society, and a lot of people are actively exploiting that loophole. It’s possible the calendar falsehood in the title may have been deliberately created to study how gullible people are and how to write a message that will be accepted at face value by people who read it. Yes, the Internet is allowing people to program society.