Creating virtual reality ...

So, the delayed Major League Baseball season began this past weekend with a full slate of games. But with no fans in the stands do these games really count?

Major League Baseball, and its handsomely paid players think so. But how can “America’s pastime” go on without the fans who made it the great American pastime?

Some media networks covering the games seem to understand this. For example, fake crowd noise was included in game broadcasts while Fox Sports added virtual fans in the stands.

This shouldn’t be too surprising in today’s world, which is sometimes punctuated by a distinct absence of reality. To be sure, technology in recent years has been moving us toward virtual existences where a variety of seemingly real experiences can be conjured up effortlessly on a computer.

But fake crowd noises and fans aren’t the only contemporary example of the creation of a virtual world. Many Americans seem all too willing to accept some “facts” in the same manner.

Consider the obsession of the mainstream media and professional sports with police brutality, a problem so inaccurately portrayed that some cities are proposing to defund their police departments.

Common sense suggests otherwise when statistics are observed with an objective eye. Police officers have millions of contacts with the public and, thankfully, only a tiny percentage result in incidents that could be considered police brutality.

But such is the new world of virtual fans and “facts.”

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