Even if it's fake, it's real
A couple years ago, my friend Michael Sippey coined the brilliant phrase “Even if it’s fake, it’s real.” He was referring to a possibly-faked Google Street View image making the rounds of an in-progress childbirth. Sippey explains that, regardless of where the truth lies (and there are four distinct potential outcomes, not just two), it doesn’t affect the entertainment value of the image and that we should embrace this new uncertainty.
Sippey plotted the possibilities along two axes:
- Real baby / real Google: wow, what a coincidence.
- Fake baby / real Google: wow, nice stunt. Involved not an insignificant amount of planning...least of which is understanding just when that street view car would come by.
- Fake baby / fake Google: wow, nice stunt. Involves getting people out on the street, staging the scene, snapping the photo, doing the right Photoshop work, and seeding it in the right communities where it finds its way to, you know, bloggers.
- Real baby / fake Google: wow, creepy. Amazingly, impressively creepy that (a) someone would grab this shot and then (b) do the right Photoshop work, seed it in the right communities, etc.
I honestly don't care which quadrant this item actually lives in. Because even if this is a faked baby with a faked Google street view, it's still real.