I hadn’t meant this post to go out Christmas day but it seems apt now. This is kind of a forked commentary from a blog post on how people mass-manipulate others. I’m in that webified generation that does not trust one source, that reads a story in a newspaper and figures out how this story would be presented without the bias of the paper etc., the generation that doesn’t necessarily fact-check but multi-sources facts. They are not the same thing. Many think they are.
I’m backing my 10,000 amateurs over your €10,000 a day expert
People give out about so many relying on the untrustworthy Wikipedia but I think my peers always seek out multiple sources of information on any and every topic. We’re the folks that don’t exactly trust a blogger that never links when giving opinions and our mistrust is shifting into the rest of the world too. I guess we’re all starting to second guess “experts”. I actually don’t know is mistrust a good word for this but it is a good thing. Is there anything really a 1 or a 0 in this life? Most things seems to be fuzzy. Always more than one side to a story and as we’ve become more cynical we are finding that we’re right. Newspapers damn the Internet for being amateur yet armies of amateurs are better than *most* journalists as they have the time and resources to work as a massive group to check everything out. While people have mentioned that only a tiny percentage do all the lifting on Wikipedia it doesn’t make it any less open since anyone can make a change to an article and point out to the group new facts to make their change stick. All the changes and “unchanges” are also logged and can be viewed too. As well as the IPs.
And then it goes too far
The trouble is people are now using lack of links as a club to win an argument. I’m getting rather sick of link elitism going on on discussion forums and on blogs, where you are not allowed disagree or enter a comment unless you have sources for every one of your opinions. That’s total information facism and is going a step too far I think. I also see links used to make someone look wrong. “This link shows you are wrong”. Not got time to elaborate WHY, tabloid stuff really with people selectively quoting from a long articles and really it’s trying to win an argument by snowing someone under and expecting them to disprove your argument while you don’t have them expect the same. It’s the Microsoft 100 lawyers killing your case even when you are in the right technique.
Or maybe they make faith stronger
So is the new religion actually a cult of scepticism and is faith in something or someone being eroded? If we always question single sources, doesn’t that mean the Bible and God herself are going to be cynically looked at? Are they dead if they cannot be trusted? But is this not good? We should not pivot anything on one thing, should we? Perhaps but also perhaps if known “experts” actually put themselves out there not as experts but as collators of information and they are open to changing the way they present ALL data when new data comes along(after careful consideration), then really they’re not a single source but a router of information, an open knowledge resource. I think that’s what Wikipedia is. I think people should be like that too, open to amend their knowledge and ideas when presented with new information.
When I think of people that do that, I see some bloggers yes but I also see Rabbis, I don’t see priests though, not the Catholic ones this Irish boy is used to anyway. There are theolgians in the Catholic church sure but they are not accessible to the public and they are not there on a Sunday guiding the community. What we do have is guardians of knowledge, gatekeepers, obfuscators, condemners. Dictators really. Google Knol is that to me. The chosen few by Google are going to be hyped as the experts and you’ll be encouraged to trust them more than Wikipedia even though they and Google are there to make money from your clicks. With that attitude a lot of experts in their fields will be ignored simply because they don’t fit into the Google luvvie brigade. I wonder will Google Knol articles get amended as quickly by the Google priests?
When I started this post a few days ago I really didn’t think it would turn into some religious sermon on a Christmas day. How very odd. So maybe blogging is in fact a rebirth for expertise and for knowledge sharing and is getting us away from a single and sometimes very biased source for something. Happy Christmas!
Bonus link: Zack Exley’s new project.