How we confidently shape our wildly under-informed opinions

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I knew that the woman who owns the three-story, multimillion-dollar closet in Houston was an idiot, especially when it was reported that a thief made off with $1 million in luxury goods from her closet one evening. My opinion was confirmed when I saw her crying on TV after the theft; her lips seemed a little artificially plump to me.

Same with whoever decided to bring a couple of Americans with Ebola to Atlanta to treat them — what kind of American brings people with an incredibly contagious disease into our country, risking the health of the rest of us? The 30-second clip didn’t go into details, but I don’t have time to think about Ebola longer than that anyway.

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How about Beyonce’s sister, who started beating on Jay-Z in that elevator video clip? He was just standing there looking at her, so she must have been drunk or on drugs or just messed up. The video was kind of grainy, but I could see enough to decide.

The 30-second clip didn’t go into details, but I don’t have time to think about Ebola longer than that anyway.

That football player, Ray Rice, who turned up on hotel security cameras dragging his girlfriend (now wife) out of a hotel elevator when she appeared to be unconscious? What a bozo. He looked pretty guilty in that black-and-white video.

And the NFL commissioner who only suspended Rice for two games — when that other player who was smoking marijuana was kicked out for a whole year — I mean, what was the commissioner thinking? I could tell all I needed to know from the TV news report teaser — there’s no question Rice should be spending time in prison instead of cooling his heels for a couple of Sundays.

That’s the greatest thing about life these days. Thanks to TV news, internet video clips and 10-second sound bites, it’s really easy to condemn, hate, repudiate and dismiss people I’ve never met and never talked with, all based on a few seconds of video or a single photo (celebrities without makeup!) or someone’s 140-character Twitter post.

It’s so much easier to be judgmental now. I don’t have to get my hands dirty with newsprint or books, and I don’t have to depend on friends telling me how to think. Thanks to the internet, I can think on my own and draw conclusions in just a couple of seconds.

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Oscar Pistorius? Guilty!

Vladimir Putin? Scary!

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Congress? Dummies!

There’s no longer any need to understand the background of an issue. No need to spend time researching complicated stories. No reason to consider what others with first-hand information about situations might have to say — I can be the judge, jury and executioner without breaking a sweat, leaving my home or even having any real knowledge about what I’m talking about.

And if I’m really lucky, I can take care of all of my thinking before breakfast while watching the morning news on TV.

Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internet. You should really run for office someday and straighten out those guys in Washington!

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