Monday, June 01, 2009

Information flow in the age of whatever age we're in

Two articles I ran across about disturbing patterns/trends/etc in how people are processing information.

The first is an LGF piece which links to an article about the whole vaccine/autism conspiracy thing and how vaccination is getting low enough in some communities that "eradicated" diseases are coming back into style. And by coming back into style I mean that young kids are dying from things that they didn't die from when I was a young kid.

The second is an interesting bit about how whole neighborhoods can be banned from Wikipedia edits if the powers that be don't like the n/POV of a person in that neighborhood. I believe I owe Hacker News a hat tip on this one, but the origin of the link has become obscure in the past day or two.

I'm not sure if I have a solid point to make here. But I suppose it worries me that people are quick to make their main source of knowledge the Internet and treat anything that shows up on a search as truth. Most people tend to trust Wikipedia because they think the editing process forces NPOV to the top, but I certainly didn't realize that Wikipedia could ban edits in this manner.

It is important to be able to think on one's own, but that presupposes that you're making a solid effort to understand a topic rather than gain a cursory understanding after a few minutes of Googling, or should I say Binging. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing indeed.

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