6.1.15: Seeing Isn't Always Believing, Duped By A Phony Rockefeller, & The Cardiff Hoax

Jun 1, 2015

We’ve all heard the saying “seeing is believing”, but does it ring true in a photoshopped-world? On today’s show we’ll try to find the answer to this question: why are we so easily duped by viral images:

Then, take the Talented Mr. Ripley, add several more aliases, and a dash of gruesome, and you get Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. Writer Walter Kirn talks about being swindled by a man masquerading as a scion of the Rockefeller family, who was really a cunning imposter and a murderer.

Plus, a look back at one of the greatest hoaxes in American history, the Giant Indian of Cardiff.

Listen to the full show

Solitary Confinement

While most other democratic nations have discontinued the practice, long-term solitary confinement is increasingly routine in American prison, and a series of new studies show that the psychological effects of such deprivation counters any goals of rehabilitation.  Joseph Stromberg is a reporter and science blogger at Smithsonian Magazine who wrote about the science of solitary confinement.

Viral Image Creator

As photo editing software becomes more sophisticated, telling real from fake photos on the internet is a challenge. Matt Novak writes the Paleofuture blog at Gizmodo which is where we found his post: “Inside the Fakes Factory: My Chat with a Viral Image Creator.”

The Greatest Hoax in American History

Witness this slice of history from the Memory Palace podcastNate Dimeo looked into what may be the greatest hoax in American history: a pair of men who capitalized on the belief that giants once roamed the earth.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Duped By A Phony Rockefeller

Walter Kirn’s new book, Blood Will Out is his account of being taken in by the eccentric and seductive sham of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, or Clark Rockefeller. The book is part memoir, part true crime, and part expose of class and status.