Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now | Gloria Origgi
A great read on why reputation matters so much now. Especially in light of how much information is available to the public nowadays. Plus some light history lesson on where the “Moon Landing” conspiracy theory came from.
In the average-case scenario, you trust newspapers, magazines or TV channels that endorse a political view which supports scientific research to summarise its findings for you. In this latter case, you are twice-removed from the sources: you trust other people’s trust in reputable science.
Huh, I actually didn't think of it that way, but that's true though.
So, do we now have to fact check everything we read or see online? No, that would take absurd amounts of our time. Not to mention, we probably won't come up with the correct answers doing our own research. Instead, we should ask the questions the author presented in the article, that I quoted below. It can act as sort of a checklist or framework for quickly verifying the accuracy of new information.
Whenever we are at the point of accepting or rejecting new information, we should ask ourselves: Where does it come from? Does the source have a good reputation? Who are the authorities who believe it? What are my reasons for deferring to these authorities? Such questions will help us to get a better grip on reality than trying to check directly the reliability of the information at issue.