søndag 6. januar 2013

Bullshit Detector

Reading blogs you have to go through a lot of rough material to find something that is actually worth reading. To be fair with you, most stuff doesn't seem to be worth reading at all -but then I read it anyway. I've mentioned before that I liked unfiltered perception -mainly for his determination to pop wholes in some of peoples obsessions -like the flu, or healthy chocolate or others. Now he might write about some topics that I don't necessarily agree with, and he might have views that are outside my "norm" -but then again, some of the point of talking to people are differences of opinion, and that's a good thing. A healthy discussion never killed anyone.

Some of the reasons why I like this blog, is that it has facts, which good sources of quality information. I can trust that what he claims are closer to the truth, than hoax sites trying to sell you shit -or people who have a strong belief vegetarianism works for everyone (it doesn't, we don't have enough plants for it to work -secondly, if we eat all the plants, what will the animals eat?). Also, if you read about the onion on Facebook lately, and how it will keep you healthy, think again -read this. Basically he writes everything I want to write, but never take the time to do research on. I love it.

I saw someone posting about ecological food on Facebook, and probiotics for pregnant women and the unborn child -and this got me thinking, how good is my bullshit detector? Because even though I don't doubt that this women who wrote this blog post has done her research, there is something about her blog (design wise) and writing that doesn't appeal to me the same way a scientific article, or the way it is described in other blogs do. Yes, I do think we should eat more ecological, and organic and what not. But what does organic really mean -do YOU know?

"To be certified organic, products must be grown and manufactured in a manner that adheres to standards set by the country they are sold in" (wikipedia). 

Which technically means that whatever your government says is organic, is organic. It can mean, in extreme cases that certain pesticides are allowed -as long as they are approved by the government in that nation to be "organic". Wikipedia also states (without citation) "Organic farms do not consume or release synthetic pesticides into the environment although organic pesticides are as damaging to the environment as synthetic pesticides.".

So where is my bullshit detector at? I don't know to be honest. If it's on Wikipedia it doesn't make it true, and never use Wikipedia as a source is one of the first things we were told about the internet back in the day. Both in high school and in university that was applicable for me. Now, to be honest I'm not quite sure. If you need information about something, looking it up on Wikipedia is actually the first step. Most times, what you find there, and the citations will give you all the info that you need. Is it so that Wikipedia has become the modern day encyclopedia. Do we need a bullshit detector on Wikipedia too?

Boyfriend has the annoying quality that he has a great BS-detector. He just knows shit, random shit, about any kind of topic, and he can call BS and explain why without even checking Wikipedia, Google, or PubMed, because he already checked it two years ago. It's one of the most annoying, but handy qualities of this man I live with.
I guess I will make 2013 the year I learn to use my bullshit detector. The year I use the internet for what is it best used for, information. Which means, stop using hours and hours on hitting refresh on the stupid facebook button -because guess what, it gives you close to no real information, with no relevance to anything of interest.

Do YOU have a good bullshit detector?

2 kommentarer:

Julie sa...

You shouldn't use Wikipedia as an academic source, because it's an encyclopedia. This means that the information there either
a) is so basic that it doesn't need a source in an academic paper
b) has a different original source which you should cite instead

You should use Wikipedia to get a general introduction to a topic and to find more sources of information which you can cite in an academic paper. Just like a paper encyclopedia. If you find an actual academic research text that cites any encyclopedia as a source, let me know.

But for most topics, Wikipedia is a great source of information.

Anintua sa...

But remember when you were a kid in elementary school and they told you to check the encyclopedia for information...

Is it just one of those truths that isn't a truth when you get older? Kind of like chemistry and physics, when you suddenly learn that your previous truth about the subject, is in fact a lie?

(thank you, for the useful comment!)