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    • Well, I still have an Encyclopedia Brittanica on the shelves -- but only because they are too nice to throw away but I've yet to find someone who want's them.

      I try to use consensus when researching specific items. That and looking for objective facts that can be cross checked. Using the chart from as a guide I prefer those sources in the green box.

      To check specific sources tells you not only the biases, but also notes a Factual Reporting rating. I mostly ignore anything that doesn't have a Factual Reporting rating of HIGH. That means ignoring CNN, for example, which has a MIXED rating.

      It is harder to find sources on the right with a HIGH factual reporting rating compared to sources on the left. But they are out there.

    • That's quite a fascinating site, marchyman. I didn't know about it. To be clear about what they said of CNN:

      We rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to misinformation and failed fact checks from guests and pundits. However, CNN’s straight news reporting would earn a High rating for factual reporting. (5/16/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 6/15/2018)

      Some that they rated high on factual reporting that leaned right were The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, Fortune, and TASS. That last one surprised me but the justification was:

      When reporting non-Russian news they report with minimal loaded words and factually source their information. Editorially, they have a right of center bias.

      They were hard on Fox news and used words like conspiracy theories.

    • Interesting. I got them all right too but I wasn't sure with some of the factual statements whether they were true. It was hard to press the factual button on the survey when I believed the statement was false. It felt wrong.

      Several versions of this infographic circulate on the net but this version seemed most credible to me:

    • Oh I see, they did release a 4.0 version of the chart in August and I had posted 3.0.

      I wonder if the current White House is making some media appear to shift left. Not that their views have changed, but even far-right outlets like Fox have taken to fact-checking the president and then getting accused of drifting left.

    • Awesome resources!

      What about experts? How do you choose who to trust in a world where any popular blogger can call him/herself a journalist, any "wellness" specialist can claim magic crystals will cure cancers and anyone with a self-published book on Amazon can profess to be an economist?

    • I look for consensus. Do others in his/her field consider them experts. For something like economics look at sites like They ask the same questions of several experts (most, if not all from institutes of higher learning) and plot the results.

      Use of your BS Detector. Personal history tells me mine is OK. I can usually figure out the fakes quickly, but I certainly have been fooled. I also wonder how many times I've ignored a source that wasn't fake.

    • This mention of Dunning-Kruger in this context, reminds me of an engineering class I took many years ago. The class was "Heuristics" and basically the professor reviewed hundreds of "rules of thumb" used in various industries where we student engineers might make our careers. The minimum flow rate in a drain pipe should be two feet per second, to take a simple and (to me) memorable example.

      Why is this true? For a lowly undergraduate, the professor pointed out it was not necessary to know why, only to be aware of the rules. He said that such rules, in a way, formed the basis of whole industries. Many used such rules their entire careers without ever thinking much about them. Those planning to pursue graduate studies focused on a particular industry would do well to consider the rules-of-thumb for that industry and perhaps explore why one is valid - and more importantly, when it is not. Poking at rules of thumb is a good way to get the attention of everyone in a particular field of endeavor.

      My point here is that sometimes even the experts on a topic base their pronouncements on given knowledge. Facts and suppositions that have stood the test of use in their's and their teachers' experience - but which are often not completely understood. The older I get, the more I doubt the accuracy of what I know!

      I discovered a curiosity about economics a decade ago. I have been reading various textbooks and watching various online course videos. But even though economics "works" - I keep having this nagging suspicion that the basis is all wrong. I am not a great genius - much smarter folks have written and perused the hoary tomes already. But it corrupts my studies. I keep questioning the fundamentals and I can't engage in serious pursuit of the overall topic!

      Sometimes we just have to go with what works for us, and acknowledge our imperfect understanding.

    • "The older I get, the more I doubt the accuracy of what I know!" Those are words of a wise man, or at least a man on the way to being wise.

      Economics is an area of interest to me. I've read some lay accessible books by the likes of John Kenneth Galbraith and John Manard Keynes. I also regularly read stuff by Paul Krugman. In my limited understanding it seems that much of traditional economics IS wrong due to the fact that they haven't taken into account people's crazy irrational or seemingly random motivations, fears and actions. This of course muddies the water and makes economics more like fortune telling than science at times. Another huge complicating factor is that politics and ideology interferes with 'truth'. People are motivated to shape economic history and findings to suit their desires, wants and biases. Add in some observation bias and you have a field that is ripe for folly. I will add again that I have very limited expertise in this area.

      Why can I not get what I typed to be dark font??

    • not at first, but yes I did later. I agree - models are supposed to simplify, but if they oversimplify then they don't work. I don't think we have economics quite right. I've read the website for quite a while now. Lots of good minds thinking about these things! There is also a field of economics called - I love it - "happiness research". That sounds like a fun line of work.

    You've been invited!