Friday, January 04, 2019
Tall Tales and Getting Facts Straight
My grandmother kept telling me "you can't believe everything you hear." She was right. I enjoy a tall tale, but I have grown cautious of repeating them, unless it is clear it is just that "a tall tale" or I have fact checked.
I enjoy social media, Facebook has allowed me to connect with family and friends that I don't otherwise hear from. A handful of them share or forward, every crackpot idea that shows up on their feed. I fear that a couple of them actually believe the drivel that they pass along.
Science, law, and economics are complicated, and there are clearly established standards of fact. Graduate School, law school in particular, taught me the difference between a good story, and a reliable fact based statement.
Fact checking has never been easier, vast libraries of facts are available instantly at our fingertips. It is easy to figure out what sources are reliable and what are not (I can't decide if I should love or hate the people that taught me to read the citations and footnotes to see if the sources are reliable.)
One conclusion from this, is people mistrust or hate, things that they least understand.