Blogs, Wikipedia, and the dangers of moving digital

I've heard recently that Britanica is going out of print.  For those of you who don't know, Britanica used to publish many versions of books called Encyclopedias. Back when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, these books were an excellent source of world information.  In today's ultra fast moving information age, these books simply cannot keep up with the changing info that's more easily accessible online and not only that but we all know that people simply aren't reading books anymore.

That got me thinking.....this sounds a little dangerous to me.  Not to be overly cynical but really.  Think about it.  People often refer to Wikipedia as a source!  I can't believe that a public update by some nobody online is a reference as a source for accurate information.  Without printed books, how do you ever know if something you're reading online is accurate?  What if it changes next week, next month, next year?  All you have to do is go back and change a few words and nobody would know the difference.  There would be no better reference point to compare against.  Pretty soon, information is in the hands of whoever wants to make you believe what they want you to know.  

Also, think about the power of the blog.  Who is this guy blogging?  Well heck, who the heck am I?  I'm just some guy sitting in front of my computer writing this and yet I impliedly convey some sense of authority of the subject I'm writing about.  How?  Why?  Even if some of you claim that you don't give me authority you do subconsciously.  The idea is out there in the ether and cannot be taken back.  Some of you will read what I post and take it to mean exactly what I posted and believe and even repeat it.  You'll repost the link and tweet it.  Who says I know what I'm talking about?

Likewise, keep in mind not everything you read is accurate.  People are free to blog.  It doesn't mean the blogger has a clue what they're doing.  The only way you will know, is if you do your own homework.  

I think we live in a lazy, relatively dumb world today.  I say that with sadness.  People rely on Wikipedia and blogs rather then doing the hard research necessary to figure out the real truth.

Fast food and fast information. Both are nutritionally deficient and will only make you bloated with crap.

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