Is Your Information Good? Critical Thinking Part 5
If you are a conspiracy theory buff, you may not want to read this. Because… the internet is host to some very bad information. You can definitely find the answer to any question, in fact several very different answers, but many answers are just crap. The internet is a repository of very, very good information and absolute crap. So how do you know the difference? Well, Bob’s Web Site says that President Obama is from Venus and was brought here with other aliens. True? That fails the simple crap-o-meter. I’ve read recently that it’s a sin to be poor. True? You be the judge.
On this blog, I try to be practical and publish nuts and bolts information about business but other folks publish psychological mumbo jumbo about attracting wealth and other crap. Now, I admit that there are certain psychological traits you need to be successful, but it’s not all you need. So I tend to preach good solid skills instead since there is so much of the other stuff around. A good solid skill like determining the reliability of information. And one rule is, if it generally smells like crap, it probably is.
On the other hand, there are people who disagree about the source for global warming. Some say people have a pronounced effect and others say that it is a natural occurrence. The two sides thus probably disagree on a course of action. One side says go green, the other side says do nothing. Much of what I have read says there are some scientists that disagree that people cause most global warming, but the vast majority believe it does. Therefor, what we cause we can correct. Am I buying in to what the liberal media is selling? Or is this factually true? Let me know what you think. When you encounter information that disagrees but both sides seem viable, it really becomes a judgment call. And I can tell you that the media is not always right, believe it or not.
Your best source of information will always be the information you produce yourself, or primary data. Secondary information often publishes the results of primary data and attempts to interpret it. Many times there are multiple interpretations of data, so you have to be careful. Many times there will be so many interpretations of what the facts represent that you must really do a lot of research to come to your own conclusion.
I personally like consulting psychics for information… how about you? Ok, before you take me too seriously I have to say that some information, as true as it may be, cannot be trusted. You got Planet X out there that’s going to collide with the Earth in 2012… How do I know? I’ve got a psychic guide that has shown it to me when I enter a trance…. First of all, I have to say that there is no way to plan for the most worst case scenarios, so you might as well throw them out. You could buy a 4×4 pickup, stockup on canned goods and shotguns, and have a fallout shelter; but really nobody knows for sure what tomorrow will bring. If somebody would have told me that this year we, personally, would feel a 3.8 earthquake I would have told them they’re full of shit. Yes, I said it. But we did feel a 3.8 earthquake in our house in Northern Illinois just last month. I’ve even heard some scientists say that the hurricanes were going to get worse and worse as the earth warms. Well, where are the friggin hurricanes? These kinds of things are not worth worrying about, believe me.
So be very careful with the information you choose to include in your research. Good and bad info exists both on the internet and off, make sure you check the sources that back them up and sniff them real good. If it smells like crap, it probably is.
Please review the following resources:
- Evaluation Criteria from “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: or, Why It’s A Good Idea To Evaluate Web Sources” – New Mexico State University Library
- Evaluating Internet Research Sources – VirtualSalt
- Evaluating Internet Resources – Teacher Tap
- Critically Analyzing Information Sources – Cornell University Library