Sunday, February 12, 2012

Internet "Facts"

When reading "interesting facts" on random internet pages, I often wonder what percentage are correct "facts". Most of these pages need to limit themselves to one "fact" per page. It seems like the more "facts" they try to stuff on the page, the greater the likelihood of publishing a "fact" that isn't quite right. Many "interesting facts" I see in such lists include at least one fact that is either:

  • A misinterpretation
  • A mischaracterization
  • Out-dated
  • Out-right wrong
I can at least forgive the first three ...if they're presented in good faith. However, many times, it seems like people are either presenting things as "facts" when, in reality, they're not - but they conform with an over-arching agenda the author is trying to support.

At any rate, when I see such "errors" - particularly when you can tell they aren't in good faith - it makes me doubt everything else in the list. The only saving grace of the other (now) doubtful facts is if I already knew them to be true and accurate (even then, if the errors and/or distortions are grievous enough, it will cause me to go research to verify that my prior understanding is correct or at least still valid).

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