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Jun 11

Sean Connery vs. Steve Jobs: post-game wrap-up

I don’t usually talk about Scoopertino over here. That’s just for fun, whereas this blog is devoted to matters of supreme galactic importance.

However, this week Scoopertino hit some kind of weird global nerve that’s worthy of a mention — since it says something interesting about human nature and reveals interesting attitudes toward Steve Jobs.

In case you’re not familiar, this week’s Scoopertino story was about Steve Jobs trying to recruit Sean Connery for an iMac ad in 1998 — and Connery replying with a blistering letter of rejection. Within hours, Connery’s imaginary dissing of Steve Jobs became a top worldwide trend on Twitter, getting more tweets than Wimbledon. From there it became a story in The Telegraph, Washington Post, Huffington Post and many more.

Most eye-opening, though, were the thousands of comments that appeared in all these places.

First and foremost, they reveal how easy it is to fool people. Keep in mind, this was not a “hoax” as it came to be described. It was a joke put up on a fake news site that’s clearly labeled as a fake news site.

It was when people started to spread the Connery letter alone, out of context, that things got out of hand. This also doesn’t speak too well for humankind’s perceptual abilities, since this letter was literally filled with language and visuals that were dead giveaways.

Second, a great number of commenters were clearly hoping and praying that the story was true. They were totally high on the idea that someone would so rudely put Steve Jobs in his place. Some proclaimed that their admiration for Sean Connery just reached a new high. And when they found out the whole thing was fiction, many said that they wished it were true.

Yikes. A little pent-up hostility there?

What makes Scoopertino fun (we hope) is that it exaggerates reality. Honestly, we never imagined anyone might actually want to live in that reality.

Well, the joke’s over now. Everything’s back to normal. James Bond has no hard feelings. But I did hear that Q is livid that Apple stole his whole iPhone idea…

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