Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • How much trust can you put in Wikipedia? I've come to use and value Wiki as a source, so much so that each year I make a small donation to the company that runs it. How should I use the source and how much trust can I put it it? Is there such a thing as an unbiased source? Where should I be going for information? One thing is certain and that's that learning how to evaluate sources is becoming much more important. How much time should the average person put into chasing down the source of their information? What can be done? It seems like a truth is becoming more and more ephemeral.

    • While Helen Buyniski certainly has her own biases that I'm against (she supports known pseudoscience), she brings up a very interesting case.

    • Trust your mind. Sharpen it, polish it, nourish it, train it. Engage in information hygiene. Fight the illusion that _someone_ will give you the truth. Fight the urge to wallow in conspiracy theories about who's controlling what - it's just a very wasteful donation of your time to no one in particular. Instead, read, think, talk with smart people, think about what you have talked, disagree if you feel you have ground for that. Truth, like respect, can't be received, it has to be earned.

      That's the only take I have.

    • I think it's pretty amazing given how hard the the job of accuracy is. It depends on the subject, though. For example, I have a lot of respect for Jen Gunter, a gynecologist who blogs and contributes to The New York Times and debunks companies like Goop. I trust her on topics that she knows more than Wikipedia because I know about her, whereas I don't know who writes Wikipedia pages.

      She thinks that for medical knowledge, pages of the Mayo Clinic are more accurate than Wikipedia.

      I have edited a few Wikipedia pages myself and it's a rigorous process with checks and balances but I find it requires compromise. For example, my friend Simon Southerton is a well respected DNA scientist who published about the DNA of native Americans confirming they are of Asian descent. The Mormon church claimed native Americans are of Middle Eastern descent.

      Long story short, my view of the world is the church tried to stop him from publishing it, he resigned, they excommunicated him but weren't honest about why they were doing it. The editors of Wikipedia found a balance between my version and the church's:

      Simon and I think the church was unfair, the church has some view I don't about Simon, and the Wikipedia page landed in the middle.

    • I cringe when I hear about GOOP. I too look to people I trust to help me vet the information I read or encounter. The problem with doing this becomes apparent when people look to say Alex Jones with whom they trust to do their vetting. I think your approach is a good one (I do it myself too) but I'm starting to think more and more of the value of asking myself what evidence it would take for me to change my mind about things. It seems there is more than two sides to a story in fact there are as many sides to a story as there are brains on the earth. The more we learn about the inherent biases built into our neural circuitry the more I feel like the truth can never fully be established. Trump's sidekick Guliani might be onto something when he says the truth isn't the truth. Guliani and Trump and Goop all fit into the same category for me but they have important lessons to teach us - albeit not from setting good examples.

    You've been invited!