The “wild west” of the internet; the drama invoking media; professional provocateurs; trolls; fanatics; fools; and misguided souls, have SO cluttered the airwaves with b.s., that it can very challenging to discern reliable information from mounds of spouted rubbish.
Perhaps there already is such a website for the recognized media,
but would there be some way to offer a “good housekeeping seal of approval”
and/or “better business bureau” type of rating system,
both for media in general, and personalities in particular?
Part of the challenge, of course, is that differences of opinion
tend to prompt people to declare the opposition “mistaken,”
In the eternal turf war of public opinion,
rather than being able to
“agree to disagree.”
If this is already available somewhere, please let me know where?
If not, what kind of a matrix might be developed to provide an objective screen,
to help coldly label media outlets for their clarity..
and perhaps what kind of self-testing might be offered,
to allow people to subjectively answer questions that highlight how much of
their rational is animated by faith without substance.
I am grappling with trying to define what might be a “solution” to this issue.
It is a rather severe problem for a society listening to the LOUDEST,
but lacking the time to hear nuance.
Sam Harris seems to clearly recognize the NEED for rational public discourse,
but is perhaps, understandably, disheartened by the lack of concern for drilling down on
TRUTH rather than on what one wants to believe to be so.
Most people consider their beliefs to be “truth” but the actual trolls etc seem few here.
There’s http://www.factcheck.org for testing statements made by politicians.
http://www.snopes.com/info/whatsnew.asp does something similar but broadens out to other news stories as well.
I’m not sure if this is what you had in mind, however.
There also Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection kit from his book The Demon-Haunted World. It’s a list of things to keep in mind when hearing about extraordinary claims. Here’s a website that has info about it:
Thanks… those are useful links.
What I am wishing for is an objective rating system
that would help indicate whether a particular “source”
is inclined toward a scientific approach in their presenting.
Jonathon Haith suggests that the mind tends to know its opinion,
and then follow up in its thinking with a rationalization for their belief.
He suggests that a single mind is like one brain cell,
but the larger “organism” of a scientific structure
that subjects ideas to a rigorous scrutiny,
is more likely to contain a real truth.
In Sam’s recent podcast with Neil dGT,
Neil supposes himself to be an “educator,”
and says he strives not to be trying to influence someone’s opinion,
only to make sure they are presented with the facts,
and have a clear perspective on the issue.
Richard Dawkins has said he is more interested in the truth,
than in being politically correct or not offending people.
I wish for some kind of a rating system,
that indicates the John Doe has a “truthiness index” of 91
and that Adam Smith has a “truthiness index” of 47.
As I listen to the ideas they each present,
without spending hours to research their bona fidas,
I can adjust my skepticism filter accordingly.
I realize this is reaching…
and maybe there is no such simple answer,
but, perhaps at least grappling with this topic could be helpful.
One of the “themes” the Sam seems to have found in public discourse,
is that the “regressive left” is more inclined to score points
than base their thinking in reality.
I don’t mean this “truthiness index” to be about identifying
people who have “regressive left” leanings,
I mean to identify people who are disingenuous in their rhetoric.
As you no doubt know, the term “truthiness” came from Stephen Colbert, or one his writers at least.
Colbert and Jon Stewart both seemed to have incredible bullshit detectors, and could mock the people bending the truth in humorous and witty ways.
So, maybe there already is a kind of truthiness index, and it’s found in the daily comedy/politics shows on television.
yes…exactly… “truthiness” was meant ironically….
especially to exactly highlight the need for such an index
to help navigate through this increasingly modern truthiness world.
I’ve long said that I would rather laugh than cry,
so, particularly after 9/11, I started getting my “news” from Jon Stewart and then also Stephen Colbert.
I then came to realize that “in humour there is truth,”
and “worse,” when properly highlighted,
the sickening political hypocrisy
(so readily mocked in their “humour”),
was actually much more depressing to observe
than the “glossy b.s.surface news” of CNN and the like.
I miss Jon and I miss Stephen’s former character.
I do appreciate John Oliver’s “deeper” shows.
While some of the humour is “a-political,”
a LOT of the jokes are much easier to laugh at when you lean with the mocker, and not the mockee.
I am not a big fan of “the new guy” and have gotten some whiffs from some of the anti-SJW youtubers,
that perhaps the daily show is increasingly falling into the “regressive left” camp.
For all I know “they” were always there.
In any case, ideally the “truthiness index” (or whatever more accurate/“serious” name might be used)
will be a-political.
I saw part of a Dave Rubin interview with a “louder with crowder” youtuber/podcaster.
It was there, I think, the Dave highlighted that though the two disagree on many issues,
Dave found Crowder to be honest/straight forward and reasoning in his approach to the issues.
Crowder seemed fairly reasonable, but struck me as something of an a-hole
(which, admittedly, is perhaps a label that any person may have occasion to wear).
Later I learned the Crowder was a Christian and so I chalked it up to that (“righteousness”)...
but, again, I digress…
The notion of the index is meant to rise about personalities; politics; and, beliefs,
and merely reflect the person’s integrity in how they address/“think (aloud) about” issues.
I am just now listening to Sam Harris’ podcast with journalist James Kirchick…. including “fake news” and all the apparent political success of bullshit.
Perhaps “now, more than ever…” it would be great to not have to personally vet every random “story” ... but to have a consolidated “wiki”-like source that somehow cannot easily be distorted by the russians or any others seeking to distort an accurate perception of reality by “the people.”