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Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 03, 2022, 02:18:12 pm »

Mike Caswell has made some interesting points about disinformation that finds it's way to social media sites like Facebook.

It seems that the flow of "fake facts" it's even more prevalent on Facebook, within it's "groups", than anywhere else, and that has a bit to do with the "group think" mentality. Group think might work fine, if someone in the group does due diligence to research facts, find the truth and share it with others.

But in many cases, social media information is just people's "humble opinions" and "guesses", that is trying to be passed off as "facts". And once disinformation starts flourishing, it becomes like a wild fire, that can't be stopped.

No need to look any further than January 6th, 2020 for how that plays out, again... social media fueled the flames of "fake truth" about our election.

As you may have guessed, someone has researched this Social Media Stupidity phenomenon, and have come to the conclusion that sites like Facebook do in fact, make some people "more stupid". Here's a story that was written up a few years back, and a good read about human nature and social media.

Why do I bring this up you ask? Well it's because once again this Stop the Canal Clear-cut group on Facebook is playing "follow the leader" and spreading the newest "disinformation campaign" being spewed from the mouths of it's two co-founders, Ms. Agte & Ms. Maier.

These two "geniuses" would like there members to believe, that the NYS Barge / Erie Canal you see today, is the same one that was built in the 1800s. They want you to believe that a mule named Sal walked along the very same Erie Trail used today by bikers and hikers.

And now the group is even trying to make the claim that the maintenance work being done, by the NY Canal Corporation trying to REPAIR these overgrown earthen dams, is causing even worse embankment instability and leaks. It's all rather funny, if it wasn't so outrageous.

Just another group on social media that seems to be getting more stupid by the minute...or maybe by their own Facebook posts

Now it's rather EASY to find literally hundreds of pages to refute the claims being made by Ms. Agte. Here's maybe one of the best, and something that is "common knowledge" to most. But not if you are running a bias filled, social media group, that is trying to denounce any and all Erie Canal Maintenance & Improvement.

Now, Ms. Maier would like everyone to think that today's Barge Canal, built using massive equipment, trains to haul materials and overhead gantry systems, leaks the same way the origin Erie Canal that was nothing more than a hand-dug ditch, 4' deep & 40' wide. She says that a Hydrology & Environment Paper, with data from 1817 to 1899, which talks about water leakage on the ORIGINAL Erie Canal, is somehow transferable to the new Barge Canal we see that I say hogwash!

That's like saying that the Top Speed of an automobile is 20 mph... because that is what it was when cars were first built.

This is from the Detroit News about Cars from 1900-1930:

The very first gasoline-powered vehicle driven on the streets of Detroit was built by engineer Charles Brady King in 1896. It went as fast as 20 miles per hour, which was described in the newspaper as "tearing along the street at a lively rate, dodging people and teams."

I am sure that the amount of seepage from the new Erie/Barge Canal is much different than the original.

Why? Well mainly because it was built to NOT LEAK as much. It used ideas that were 100 years advanced from the original build, and lets' not forget, the Barge Canal was built TWICE as wide as the Erie Canal was in the late 1800s, after it had been enlarged twice before. The last upgrade to the original Erie Canal made it 6' deep by 60' wide in the majoprity of dug sections.

It's a well know, scientific fact, that earthen embankment seepage is a result of water, and surface area of the earthen dam slope faces.

The Barge slopes are much larger that the original, there is much more water available inside, which increases the hydrological pressure. And the materials used were improved with both clay-based liners, large course rip-rap rocking, and the many cement liners that were utilized on the more difficult sections in sand.

And why didn't Ms. Maier look for CURRENT DATA instead of trying to push original Erie leakage data, on a new canal structure?

The answer to that is simple... it wouldn't have allowed her to misrepresent the situation and back her preposterous claims

But the most difficult pill to swallow from this group is that some in this group might "honestly believe" that the 21st century canal is the SAME one built in the 1800s... in the same exact place. That's just false, for quite awhile during the construction of the newer Barge Canal, there were actually TWO canals, the original Erie kept running traffic and goods, while the newer version, built for powered vessels, was being designed and constructed.

But Ms. Agte was correct on one stated fact... there were NO TREES along the Barge Canal when it was can see that below.,Canal%2C%20was%20completed%20in%201918.

And now the New York State & New York Power Authority are going to "turn back the hands of time" and RESTORE the NYS Erie-Barge Canal to "as new" condition. The way the Erie Canal and it's Navigation Dams were always meant to be, if the prior ownership & custodians of the Canal had done there jobs properly in the first place. We will ALL get a chance to see the Canal, as it was, in 1926.

Arch Merrill, a very famous NY State Author of Canal Life back in the day, wrote a book in 1945 called The Towpath (Gannett publishing). It's a GREAT read about Erie Canal history, both from the 1800s and up to to present day...1945.

In his story, Arch said he wanted to travel the new Barge Canal by using the towpath to tell his tale . In Chapter 1 he states that the Canal Towpath had become so thick with overgrown brush & weeds, it was virtually impassable, making it impossible to use for his book. So he went by Tugboat from one end to the other, and told his story that way.

No mules, no Empire Trail, just overgrown earthen dams that no one paid any attention to. His statement on Page 4... "The Towpath itself, is only a memory now". That was a mere 20 years after the Barge Canal opened in 1926, and an eye witness that the days of a mule called Sal were long gone.

The moral of the story for this post...

You can believe all the factual information, from experts, about the Erie Canal, the NY Barge Canal, and what historians tell us.

Or you can believe online ramblings that seem to make up many of the "facts" within social media groups these days, it's up to you.

But please, don't blame the ECNA if you end up looking "more stupid" from the choice you made.