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When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:

by chacham (Curate)
on Jun 01, 2014 at 16:28 UTC ( #1088179=poll: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:

Wikipedia
[bar] 183/29%
Mythbusters
[bar] 25/4%
Snopes
[bar] 96/15%
Google
[bar] 174/27%
Bing
[bar] 11/2%
Categorized Questions and Answers
[bar] 6/1%
My little grey cells
[bar] 62/10%
Other
[bar] 28/4%
Ooh ... shiny!
[bar] 56/9%
641 total votes
Comment on When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by wjw (Deacon) on Jun 01, 2014 at 18:30 UTC

    (gray)...and a few of the white ones as well.

    Kind of an interesting concept: An accurate belief. Some things that are believed in may be accurate I suppose, but if they are accurate, is there a question of belief? Accuracy is a measure of real vs measured, where-as belief is an acceptance of some idea which may or may not be accurate. Frankly, I try to keep the two separate when possible. Not always possible though.

    I do believe that the time is right for a beer. Is that an accurate belief? Works for me... :-)

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...otherwise, the problem is not a problem, it is a facct

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by Ratazong (Prior) on Jun 02, 2014 at 06:31 UTC

    I personally want to use my grey cells (after collecting data, of course), however if I want to persuade others of the result of my check, it is easiest if wikipedia states the same conclusion.

      I hate to tell you this but Wikipedia is not proof. Yup, it's great for all sorts of things. Usually you get some kind of middle of the road analysis that gives you a general idea of what's going on with "whatever you're researching". On the other hand, anyone can edit and there's really no way you can trust what "wikipedia says today". Not to mention that all things cited in wikipedia always fall a'foul (sp?) of what Stokely Carmichael had to say: "those with the power to define are the masters."

      Oh yeah, and as far as wikipedia goes as some kind of font of truth, I've seen plenty of computer (and other) articles that I knew where just wrong. Oh yeah, sure, I should then try to go fix it right? but screw that, I have zero interest in playing the wiki political games.

        I believe Ratazong knows that, and thus stated that it isn't his preferred method. The problem is the people Ratazong is generally trying to convince are most easily convinced by a Wikipedia link.

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by barrd (Parson) on Jun 02, 2014 at 07:48 UTC
    The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, naturally... ;)
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by tos (Deacon) on Jun 02, 2014 at 13:29 UTC
    I prefer the german "BILD-Zeitung".


    Is simplicity best or simply the easiest Martin L. Gore
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by chacham (Curate) on Jun 02, 2014 at 13:32 UTC

    Grey cells? Excuse you, me, i have come back as Chacham the White, i don't any "grey" cells!

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by ChuckularOne (Parson) on Jun 02, 2014 at 13:33 UTC

    I always have a tab open to Wikipedia.

    Sometimes (when it's a quick fact check) I'll use Google.

    I have found quite a bit of bias on Snopes. Especially in the political arena.

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by dbuckhal (Monk) on Jun 02, 2014 at 15:03 UTC
    I do a search and rifle through and compare the results. I have been trying to use duckduckgo.com more often, lately.
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by blue_cowdawg (Prior) on Jun 02, 2014 at 16:13 UTC

    I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time debunking things that have been passed on to me either through E-Mail, Facebook or some other source.

    Places I avoid looking for accurate information: CNN and Fox. They are polar opposites and prone to error for decidedly different reasons. I can't stand extremists of any color.

    Places I do look: Snope and just a good old Google. Especially if someone claims "politician A" said "so and so." If I can find a You Tube of them saying that then I'll believe. Even then you have to be careful that it wasn't taken out of context.

    One thing that bothers me based on my experiences with recent college grads. Critical thinking doesn't seem to be taught either in the K-12 or college education system. "Where did you hear that?" is something I ask all the time followed quite often by "OK.. where did they hear that." Telephone game didn't stop when we were children.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      Have found that if I want quality news about the US, NPR does a reasonable job, supplemented with BBC, and a few other foreign news services. Anything outside the US the NY Times does a fairly decent job along with other foreign(to me) sources. As a middle ground conservative, I find it ironic that those sources actually report 'some' news, as compared to blatantly attempting to sell it to me.

      That critical thinking observation is accurate in my experience, though more broadly than just college grads. It is a bit disturbing. So many seem to single source info....

      ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

      Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

      A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...otherwise, the problem is not a problem, it is a facct

        I have my suspicions about NPR having seen them report on things that I was personally privy to and get it wrong. I suspect in their case it is a case of not doing a full job of fact checking.

        For instance they reported on the capabilities of the Spruance Class destroyer. I served as a Plankowner on one between 1979 and 1982 so I know a thing about the class and in particular the USS Cushing DD985. They reported capabilities that the ship flat out did not have. (Interestingly some features they reported on did come along later in SpruCan lifetime)

        Right on about BBC. I find they put out more fact and less spin than other news organs.


        Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
        Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      "Critical thinking? Among the secondary school and college-age cohort? Hah!

      /methinks that rather, they are inculcated with the propensity to believe two, mutually-contradictory propositions at the same time (...in any case where they find it possible ...and most of the time, at that).

      To paraphrase a senior Monk's sig, /me go back to the fossil bed, now.



      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Juvenal, Satires

        I'm pretty sure "Critical Thinking" stopped being a "thing" back in the 70s, of course, "your mileage may vary".

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by maard (Pilgrim) on Jun 03, 2014 at 17:34 UTC
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by Edster (Initiate) on Jun 04, 2014 at 08:48 UTC

    Why isn't PerlMonks an option ?!?

    Seriously though, it must be true - someone I know read it on the Internet

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by herveus (Parson) on Jun 04, 2014 at 14:16 UTC
    Howdy!

    The means I employ to check on a claim presented as factual depend on the nature of the claim. Snopes, Google, and WikiPedia are all tools in my chest, along with Google News as appropriate.

    No single source is adequate to cover all of the input cases.

    yours,
    Michael
      Indeed. Many sources should be consulted. I make an effort to check several sources.
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by papidave (Monk) on Jun 09, 2014 at 22:48 UTC
    Where to go depends, I think, on the item being verified. Wikipedia is useful for cultural memes and non-controversial items, but I'm not sure that query would qualify as an accuracy check.

    Political beliefs and most other widely held beliefs don't usually warrant a check for me, either, unless I hold them and have been personally challenged on them. Sorry, but I just can't get excited when other people are wrong most of the time.

    The one place I will check is when I run across an urban legend that interests me, and for that Snopes seems to work pretty well. Even there, however, I'm more interested in learning something new than I am in fact-checking someone else.

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by ChuckularOne (Parson) on Jun 19, 2014 at 15:01 UTC
    It's odd. It's reached the point where I verify and "fact" that seems alarmist. Regardless of the subject matter.

    "Politician says he'd stone gays!" Fact check -- False
    "Dogs die if you give them ice!" Fact check -- False
    "Sea levels are rising at unprecedented rates!" Fact check -- False

    It seems that any sentence that ends with an exclamation point lately is false. What's the world coming to?

      Newsflash: Statements that end with exclamation points are false!

      Ironically, the exclamation point takes the shebang out of it.

        Hmmm... So the irony of your intrinsic irony is that it causes the following conundrum: Should up or down vote that. :-)

      As an anonymous NSA source, I'm glad that I'll be able to inform my superiors that our plot to weaken the exclamation point is "working as intended!"

      Next on our list is the question mark?

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by adamsj (Hermit) on Jun 20, 2014 at 21:30 UTC
    Maybe I'm just old, but I like books, actual printed books that can't be changed by remote control.
    They laughed at Joan of Arc, but she went right ahead and built it. --Gracie Allen
Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by Clovis_Sangrail (Beadle) on Jun 27, 2014 at 19:02 UTC

    I said "WikiPedia", but to be honest I type a keyword in Google and then read the returned Wikipedia Link (which is virtually always one of the first results).

Re: When I want to check the accuracy of some widely held belief, I use:
by Knom (Beadle) on Jun 30, 2014 at 19:56 UTC
    Websters for me. :-p Can you say Linguistics? (or was that Linguine??... shrug)

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