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The Internet Education Social Networks

Say Goodbye To the Information Age: It's All About Reputation Now (aeon.co) 193

An anonymous reader shares an essay on Aeon magazine by Gloria Origgi, an Italian philosopher and a tenured senior researcher at CNRS : We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the 'information age', we are moving towards the 'reputation age', in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know.

[...] The paradigm shift from the age of information to the age of reputation must be taken into account when we try to defend ourselves from 'fake news' and other misinformation and disinformation techniques that are proliferating through contemporary societies. What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the veracity of the news. Rather, she should be competent at reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that leant it credibility.

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Say Goodbye To the Information Age: It's All About Reputation Now

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  • by ohnonononono ( 5313407 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:18PM (#56280091)

    Technology provides us with the possibility of OBJECTIVE insight and provides framework for OBJECTIVE verification (with mathematics).
    This is simply arguing for dystopia and forsaking a new Enlightenment, a new Renaissance, because "eh, it's too hard to care."
    Reputation is emotional and therefore non-objective. Animals can construct hierarchies based on reputation. We are human beings with all the tools to shape our reality. Why should we forsake our intellect for an animalistic way of life? Because it allows us to be controlled by whoever is at the top of the hierarchy dispensing reputation? This article, this idea, is poison.

    mature citizen

    she

    Yep, this is a propaganda stunt.

    The message here is "blindly trust your favorite source, here's a falsely sophisticated argument for why it's okay for YOU, the smart he/she/xe/.... that you are, to do so". If listened to it could have terrible effect on society, especially if its effective on the "tech sector", the people who have pretty much the only jobs that matter in the "second industrial revolution", the people who have the power to contest the will of their employers and prevent dystopia.
    If the horrors that mass surveillance + AI + automation offer us are to be averted, it is YOU that are going to have to stand up, and in order to do so, you will need a philosophical grounding in order to coordinate your efforts with your peers.

    This trash article is an attempt to subvert that grounding.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      Technology provides us with the possibility of OBJECTIVE insight and provides framework for OBJECTIVE verification (with mathematics).

      If only that were so. Unfortunately, until we can find perfect technology, developed by the Platonic ideal perfectly moral race of beings, technology is going to be used by bad people as a method of control and as a tool for tyrants.

      https://www.theguardian.com/ne... [theguardian.com]

      A good example is how we are learning that the best way to secure honest elections is to abandon technology for

      • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @02:21PM (#56280345)

        Unfortunately, until we can find perfect technology, developed by the Platonic ideal perfectly moral race of beings, technology is going to be used by bad people as a method of control and as a tool for tyrants.

        But you can make that very same argument about anything used by humans. The very paper ballots you seem to think are a solution were developed by the same immoral race of beings that have created everything since. Is that technology less susceptible to being used by bad people as a method of control or a tool for tyrants? Given the sham elections done with paper ballots in the various peoples' republics of the world, I don't think they're any more of a safeguard against political corruption than anything else.

        If you have a scientifically or mathematically verified model but refuse to use it, the fault isn't with the model. The important part about paper ballots is that anyone and everyone can count them. That paper is used is immaterial, and that people can participate in the verification is the salient aspect of the system. So if you want to have an electronic voting machine, the important part is that everyone can look at the code and verify for themselves that it isn't doing anything untoward.

        • But you can make that very same argument about anything used by humans.

          That's true, but technology's efficiencies are potentially (I would say "especially") capable of making mass control more efficient.

          That's why we have to be very, very careful about the technology we adopt. It's not morally neutral, as we've been told since the Industrial Revolution. Technology may be morally fungible, but it's not morally neutral.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by alvinrod ( 889928 )

            That's true, but technology's efficiencies are potentially (I would say "especially") capable of making mass control more efficient.

            You can probably argue that incrementally back all the way to the first cave paintings as well though. There's always going to be some new danger on the horizon, but I don't think this presents a long term concern. If something is detrimental towards human survival, those traits which enable it or succumb to it will be selected against in the long run. That may seem painful right now, but it's no less so than the mound of corpses it took to develop an immune response to all of our past threats.

            It's alway

            • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @04:55PM (#56280915) Journal

              If something is detrimental towards human survival, those traits which enable it or succumb to it will be selected against in the long run.

              It is estimated that 150-200 species become extinct every day. Natural selection didn't save them, and there's no reason to believe natural selection will save us.

              Plus, the ability (some might say, "propensity") of humans to do harm to each other (and themselves) develops much more rapidly than the mechanisms of natural selection.

              You can probably argue that incrementally back all the way to the first cave paintings as well though.

              No, you probably can't.

            • but I don't think this presents a long term concern. If something is detrimental towards human survival, those traits which enable it or succumb to it will be selected against in the long run.

              Detrimental towards human survival? Like travelling faster than 30mph? Because we routinely place ourselves in situations that evolution has had NO WAY of preparing us for. Natural selection operates on the scale of GENERATIONS. And thanks to low selective pressure, we're nearly identical to humans of 2000 years ago. While there was a period of seperation where some groups started drifting their own way, that's been muddied by a lot of out-breeding. In an evolutionary sense, sure, long-term we've really

        • by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @03:10PM (#56280545)

          This is a solved problem.

        • If you have a scientifically or mathematically verified model but refuse to use it, the fault isn't with the model. The important part about paper ballots is that anyone and everyone can count them. That paper is used is immaterial, and that people can participate in the verification is the salient aspect of the system. So if you want to have an electronic voting machine, the important part is that everyone can look at the code and verify for themselves that it isn't doing anything untoward.

          The end of your last sentence is the key to understanding the limits on the first. It is not enough for everyone to be able to look at the code, they must also have the ability (not just the permission) to verify for themselves that it is doing what it is supposed to do. That means that they must be able to do two things, understand how the code accomplished what it accomplishes AND know that the code they are looking at is indeed the code being used on the machines.

          The thing about having a scientifically

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The public has a collective IQ of 50 which seems to decrease proportionally as the mob size increases. The "information age" has created the most powerful weapon system on the planet.
        And the nation-state actors have successfully exploited the tool to silence facts with hyperbolic opinions multiplied and distributed by the millions of botnets that are steadily evolving greater capabilities and purpose. And using the internet to support state ambitions is very cost effective. It's safer, cheaper, and faster t

      • A good example is how we are learning that the best way to secure honest elections is to abandon technology for something much older (paper ballots, counted manually with lots of people watching).

        That's not abandoning technology.
        No more than choosing cooking with an oven instead of by pouring gasoline over food, lighting it on fire and declaring "Dinner's ready! Eat up while it's hot!"

        Democracy requires human participation - not human automation. Even when it comes to security and certainty of the vote.
        And neither should be sacrificed because of modernity, speed, cost or whatever.

        As for "perfect tech made by perfectly moral people"... Please...
        Technology is just another word for TOOL. Tools don't h

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Objectivity is established through equivalent reports from multiple observers.

      That's it. Everything boils down to that, because all any individual has to go on is subjective experience. You can't establish objective facts about reality by yourself, it is a logical impossibility (you might be hallucinating, crazy, emotionally biased, and so on). This is how science works and has always worked.

      Mathematics is just a modeling tool; the formulas upon which we rely have been established as reliable via the pro

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @02:02PM (#56280285) Journal
      User ID > 5 million.

      Achievements = 2

      I guess you don't have enough reputation to be trusted.

      • (Hit post too soon) No wonder you dis reputation. You dont have any.

        I would argue in favor of reputation because I have an achievement score of 34 and I have karma to burn

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          In the future everyone will have multiple identities. Like people have multiple credit cards and select one per transaction.

          There will be a huge market for bootstrapping new identities. Reputation merchants will have to develop spam filters, and the false positives are going to be brutal.

    • Technology provides us with the possibility of OBJECTIVE insight and provides framework for OBJECTIVE verification (with mathematics). This is simply arguing for dystopia and forsaking a new Enlightenment, a new Renaissance, because "eh, it's too hard to care."

      Technology also provides us with the impossibility of the both-broad-and-deep analysis of raw data that we need to navigate even the present, never mind the future. That's because it presents to us with a huge amount of complex data about a huge number of important topics. Additionally, that same technology is itself an ever-rapidly expanding source of complex raw data. This is true even for those of us who have the intelligence, knowledge, and interest to have this discussion - how much more applicable is

    • Technology provides us with the possibility of OBJECTIVE insight and provides framework for OBJECTIVE verification (with mathematics).

      Not really, since we need to establish facts first that we use to gain those insights. Average person is pretty much unable to establish facts about any non reproducible events - we need to rely on others to provide us those and rate their "truth" by their reputation and number of matching reports. Unfortunately if there are big players (eg countries) involved with their own agenda those methods become seriously insufficient.

      For example the recent poisoning in the UK: UK points at Russia and they point at s

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Unfortunately if there are big players (eg countries) involved with their own agenda those methods become seriously insufficient. For example the recent poisoning in the UK: UK points at Russia and they point at someone else eg Ukraine. Both have some motive and potentially ways.

        In this particular case I think the situation is exactly the same as it would be 50 or 100 or 500 years ago, obviously we've always had to judge the credibility of information. Heck, you need to do that if you're trying to determine who stole cookies from the cookie jar. But technology has given us a lot of mostly objective information in the form of photos, videos, logs and other electronic records, you don't need to rely on trust and reputation if you have a surveillance camera record who steals cookies.

        • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @10:00AM (#56283181)

          But technology has given us a lot of mostly objective information in the form of photos, videos, logs and other electronic records, you don't need to rely on trust and reputation if you have a surveillance camera record who steals cookies.

          Unfortunately, that's not really true. Photos can be doctored [slashdot.org], videos can be generated [slashdot.org], logs and electronic records can be altered or falsified [slashdot.org]. You still need to rely on trust and reputation to tell you that the objective information that you have been provided is both truthful and representative. And always remember that in addition to faking the evidence you are given, someone can also hide the information that they don't want you to see.

          The crazy conspiracy people have lots and lots of "evidence" that they will show you that "proves" their conspiracy is true. Moon landing hoaxers will show you video of the flag on the moon "waving in the wind" to prove it was filmed on earth, however, they won't show you other video where it's not moving or tell you that the video was taken immediately after the flag was planted (and thus a more plausible explanation is that the flag is still vibrating from the pole being stuck in the ground).

          The problem is not just evidence, which can be manufactured, but also framing which can be used to persuade people to overlook inconvenient truths.

    • Postmodernism [britannica.com] rejects your concept of an objective natural reality whose existence and properties are logically independent of human beings.
    • by clovis ( 4684 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @03:52PM (#56280689)

      The author of the book, Gloria Origgi, is saying nearly the opposite of what many posters think she is saying.
      She is saying you need to understand how you acquire knowledge and she says you need to examine the sources of that knowledge.
      There's no blind trust anywhere in her writing.

      She is also making two cases.
      One is that reputation-trusting is how things actually work in the modern world.

      There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. What makes this paradoxical is that the vastly increased access to information and knowledge we have today does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, it renders us more dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations of the information with which we are faced.

      Two is that you should not blindly accept 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?

      For three simple cases:
      You cannot personally verify the moon landings.
      You cannot personally verify the efficacy and dangers of vaccines.
      You cannot personally verify the predictions of climate scientists.

      All these things come from other sources, and ultimately you will need to choose and defer to the authority of one or another of these sources as being an objective authority, if you are going to accept new knowledge. And because ultimately you will be making decisions based upon the reputation of these sources, you should be aware that you are making that decision based upon a trust of reputation.

      • So... don't believe everything you read, especially if someone has paid for you to read it (targeted ads). Seems fairly obvious. It seems to me that the "new" thing is the effectiveness of targeting and that finding accurate information on platforms that optimize engagement may be disfavored. Hint: once a user finds solid info, they stop looking, so that solid info is likely to be suppressed by a system optimizing engagement. Reporters know perfectly well how to properly source their articles. That's wh
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        This is why the "new media" has put so much effort into destroying the reputations of the "legacy media" and in inflating their own. They have made turning a zero trust blog into a reputable news source an art.

        As well as simply making their blogs look like proper news organizations and doing endless stories about how corrupt the "MSM" is, they rely on syndication a lot. A story that originates on Infowars will likely be dismissed by a lot of people, but once it's been slightly re-worded and re-posted on oth

      • You can read the studies done (for example, with vaccines and autism) and then estimate the probability that those scientists actually lied in their papers (or got the control group mixed up or something). You can always ask "How do we know?" And the answer is there for you. Complain that it's hard or takes effort, but don't lie to yourself that it can't be verified.
      • by q4Fry ( 1322209 )

        She is saying you need to understand how you acquire knowledge and she says you need to examine the sources of that knowledge.
        There's no blind trust anywhere in her writing.

        This is interesting, but I'm not sure how helpful. The internet allows a nominal budget to build an enormous corpus of self-supporting and self-citing literature promoting falsehoods. It is mentally exhausting to determine the truth content for oneself. I'm pretty sure this is by-design.

        My wife sent me something she heard that upset her. I thought it sounded suspicious, so I pulled up the source. The website purported to be American, but a quick whois showed a Macedonian registrar for a Slavic name at a Dan

    • by skids ( 119237 )

      Technology provides us with the possibility of OBJECTIVE insight and provides framework for OBJECTIVE verification (with mathematics).

      Well judging from social media platforms just now realizing they need more than a single "like" button, that possibility is far from realized.

      From TFA:

      reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that leant it credibility.

      ...this won't happen unless it can be monetized. Sure OSS solutions may emerge, but the general population will only use the services that had the budget to advertise, and those will be the ones who think they have a way to recapture the advertising revenue and generate an ROI for their shareholders.

    • Hear, hear.
  • That assumes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toejam13 ( 958243 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:26PM (#56280123)

    This article takes the noble assumption that people actually want the truth instead of the warm, comforting embrace of the self-reaffirming echo chamber. I know more than a few people who turn to questionable news because they don't want their view of the world challenged. As long as these people exist, there will be a market for this sort of information.

    • You make the assumption that everyone wants the same thing. Not everyone watches Entertainment Tonight and talks politics on Facebook.

      I would pay money, good money, to participate on a website with quality discussion. I would imagine other people are the same.

      Some people are always trying to outrun the "Eternal September" that came to their platform. Facebook used to require a college e-mail account.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If online forums have shown us anything, it is that the hivemind chooses the more comfortable solution, not necessarily the factually correct one. When they happen to be the same great, but reputation tracking for online behavior will only produce Gattaca-like clones who conform as closely as possible to the hivemind.

      A rough example: the majority of US citizens believe in Christianity, but when laid bare, the notion of a zombie-man resurrected from the grave who wants you to drink his flesh and blood is pr

    • On the one hand it explains something important about what makes us work. On the other hand it looks more like a strategy paper for the PR industry to me. At least I'm sure that's how it will be treated and what are already the operating guidelines. Forget about truth, reputation is how you get people to do what you want them to do. One track has been to control the channels of authority, say the NYTimes. Another track is to get a grip on the low authority media like facebook.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:26PM (#56280127)

    Back in my age we called it "argument from authority". And even then we knew that it's bullshit.

    • ^^^^ This. A thousand times, this!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The article is an appeal to authority of the worst kind. Let's hope it gets the reputation it deserves.

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      And it's nothing new. In fact, it's as old as the news media is. What the article describes is exactly how newspapers and TV news work (or fail to). The only difference is that the barriers to entry are marginally cheaper. Very marginally.

    • Back in my day we called it 'moderation'. For example you're discussing on a website where you trust the people to moderate out comments that aren't worth reading.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Back in my age we called it "argument from authority". And even then we knew that it's bullshit.

      Sure, but I'd rather take medical advice from a doctor and legal advice from a lawyer than the other way around. It doesn't mean the most senior expert is always right but I'd say this "fallacy" is equally often used to dismiss people with actual education, experience and merits to take decisions that will eventually turn out to be stupid, wrong or unworkable but couldn't be shot down on the spot. Though I suppose the flip side are geezers frozen in time that insist you do things the way they've always been

      • The fallacy is to assume someone is right axiomatically because he "should" know, not that you value anyone's argument equally no matter his background. If Stephen Hawking said that at the center of a black hole is a little green man holding a pink teapot, I'd want to hear his proof. Likewise if you said it. The difference is probably that in the former case I'd do it out of genuine curiosity how he comes to the conclusion, in your case I'd do it because I really need a good laugh.

        That is the difference.

        The

    • I think you're misunderstanding what an "argument from authority" is, and why its' considered bad. The real problem is that the support or agreement of an authority figure is used in place of a logical argument.

      So let's say that I are arguing, and you're saying that we should do [X] and I'm saying we should do [Y]. We're both presenting an argument, and I say, "Well Joe thinks I'm right, and Joe's very smart. Therefore, I must be right." That would be an improper argument from authority. However, the r

  • Put less politely: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:29PM (#56280143) Homepage Journal

    We're entering the Age of Bullshit [wikipedia.org].

  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:37PM (#56280179)
    It's always been about reputation. The Information Age did not change that.
    • by MattCC ( 551250 )
      I agree ... "It's always been about reputation" The majority of our beliefs are based on what we have learned from an authority figure of one form or another. We could not develop otherwise -- it is not feasible to spend the time that would be needed to validate what we are told based on either rationality or personal experience.
  • Dibs on the shooting range in Frontierland

  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:47PM (#56280219)

    The issue isn't that we rely on reputation to decide if something is truth. The issue is it is easier for charlatans to build reputation now a days.

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:47PM (#56280221)

    in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others.

    So how good is the author's reputation, that we should believe this?

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock.poetic@com> on Sunday March 18, 2018 @01:55PM (#56280245)

    Gloria Origgi brings up an interesting point of discussion. It purports to relate to the 'information age', but it has always been there.

    Every time someone asserts a 'fact', we must evaluate their motives. If they don't have a discernable motive, we have to look to the source--where did that 'fact' originate, whose hands did it pass through? It's a tedious process but the only way to begin evaluating that 'fact'.

    Unfortunately, we have to continually monitor our own belief in facts. They tend to become rooted to the extent that their source is forgotten. Those of us who adhere to a religion were probably indoctrinated before we were capable of rationally evaluating information. How can we now go back and confront those assumptions?

    Thus, entire societies are pawns in a flow of 'information' circulating endlessly, invisibly in the ether causing a contagion that is nearly insurmountable.

    Belief is a matter of accepting 'facts' without question. No sensible person would allow this. Every 'fact' can be evaluated for accuracy on a scale, say from 0 to 9. One gathers the best information available and gives a particular fact a value between those numbers. As more information becomes available, the score may change. It is never zero or nine.

    But most people are averse to shades of grey. They need up or down; on or off; left or right; and nothing in between. They like slogans and easy solutions. No painful thinking required. If a fact is asserted loud enough, often enough, then it must be true. Educational systems perpetuate this problem by rote learning with no critical thought process allowed.

  • That the reputation of Slashdot, it's mods and it's commenters is so low that the whole system is nearly useless.
  • I am the most beloved Slashdot commenter and have tremendous reputation, which is why I won the presidency of Slashdot by the biggest margin in history.

  • There are three problems here:

    1) The real question is why did the flat earth society decide there was a giant conspiracy. The answer is because they needed to believe that or give up their belief in a flat earth. There may well have been some believers in a flat earth who gave up that belief, but by definition they were no longer members of the flat earth society.

    2) Conspiracy theories are dangerous because once you accept the conspiracy, it is impossible to have it disproved. All contrary evidence simply b

  • I'm under a 3, so Bryce Dallas Howard should want sex with me!

  • That's what this is. Reputation? Please don't make me laugh! Its all about shit talk and riling people up. This is the Age of Disinformation folks, get used to it.

  • Sure, it's *totally* different than when almost everybody just trusted the evening news or their favourite newspaper columnist to tell them what to think.

    The information age made the raw information available. Many people use it directly. It's not terribly surprising that most people don't have the time, skill, or inclination to do that, so they do as they always have and rely on someone else to interpret it for them. The availability of information has made a change in that area though: now just about a

    • A common theme I see with technology is wanting to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The world already WENT THROUGH THIS. We came up with that news anchor and evening paper BECAUSE of the unreliability of information otherwise. Then millennials come along and say that the news anchor is now corrupt and start to read and believe EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET. There is something *very wrong* with this picture.
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Its blindingly obvious that many mainstream news anchors are spinning and changing the truth to fit their paymasters agendas. They are therefore not only totally unprofessional and unstrustable, but corrupt.
        Just look at the giant difference between the way supposedly professional anchors like Rachel Maddow present the same news items compared to the way the rest of the world does, such as the BBC or Al Jazeera. That alone should be enough to tell you to never believe anything she or people like her say, muc

      • A common theme I see with technology is wanting to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The world already WENT THROUGH THIS. We came up with that news anchor and evening paper BECAUSE of the unreliability of information otherwise. Then millennials come along and say that the news anchor is now corrupt and start to read and believe EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET. There is something *very wrong* with this picture.

        I have my doubts that the millennials have much to do with this "fake news" bullshit. Trump, for example, is considerably more than 20 years old, and the largest portion of his support seems to come from Baby Boomers, not millennials.

  • We've always had tribal reputation outsourcing. The main difference is that we now have tribal reputation outsourcing on crack.

    In addition, we've always had a rich vocabulary concerning those who outsource their opinions while exercising insufficient personal vigilance: toady, bootlicker, sycophant, fool, ass, halfwit, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, moron, imbecile, and mean-girl wannabee (to commence dining with a preliminary cheese plate).

    For the soup course, we have on offer a rich gumbo:

    * fear
    * author

  • by neurosine ( 549673 ) on Sunday March 18, 2018 @03:17PM (#56280575) Homepage
    Good critical thinking should never be abandoned because we defer to the source of the arguments put forth. From many religions to Hitler this has proven over and over again to be a bad road to go down. Completely untrustworthy people can be right sometimes. The most rigid researcher can make a mistake. I agree that truth and validity are becoming more important. The way to recognize them, and to distinguish sound arguments from unsound arguments is to apply good critical thinking skills. Unfortunately Logic is a university level course. It really should be taught in Jr. High, and touched upon in Elementary. This would certainly boost the IQ of the general populace...which is maybe why it isn't taught. Politicians and governments get away with too many things because the people they rule don't seem to have very good bullshit detectors.
  • It always WAS about reputation. People used to read and trust news from ACCREDITED SOURCES ONLY. Only since Facebook and the death of print has this changed.
  • Let it not be forgotten that the primacy of information remains, but the gatekeepers of primary information are becoming increasingly specialized and dispersed throughout the social graph. One of the problems here is not that information is waning, but that the social internet deluge refuses to wane.

    The Purpose of Mathematics in a Classical Education [medium.com] — 1 March 2017 by Thomas Treloar

    In approximately 300 B.C., Euclid brought together much of what was known in mathematics up to that point in 13 volumes.

    • by dwpro ( 520418 )
      That's a great point. The necessity of diffuse authority with so much data seems obvious, at least until we get personalized AI to augment our decision making.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The premise that "news" should be trusted if it comes from a trusted source overlooks that a trusted source can be corrupted and used for ulterior motives.

    If you can't understand this you're just plain stupid and naive.

    That's all the time I am going to waste on this, except to say that Slashdot has become nearly pure shit in recent years.

  • It is the fundamental difference between getting information and understanding information. Many would imply that they are one and the same but there is a huge difference. Just reading about something gives your a very basic view of something but hardly makes you an expert or even qualifies to understand the underlying facts. Too many people think that a little reading makes you qualified to extend the facts you are given to other circumstances, or to make extended predictions. When often the facts you read

  • "What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the veracity of the news. Rather, she should be competent at reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that leant it credibility."

    There is just too much information out there to do anything but rely on others to synthesize it and give us a result. That is why reputation is so

  • This is an old idea, and we've already seen an iteration of it. Likely there is a pendulum swing between individual effort and curation. I remember the early days of the Internet, when search engines basically sucked. Then along came Google, which was more relevant to an order of magnitude. Relevance, very similar to reputation. Back then I used to observe that given a flood of information of varying reliability, relevance (Or reputation if you will) becomes a valuable commodity. This was Google's early com
  • It seems clear that a large percentage of average Americans are simply not interested in facts, and and instead decide what news to trust only on whether something has "truthiness", how it makes them feel, and mostly whether it happens to support or at least not question their own already formulated world view.
    You can see exactly the same effect here on slashdot.
    Any post that demonstrates actual evidence for validity of thinking outside of the PeeCee mainstream agenda will nearly garner multiple -1 troll mo

  • This has always been this way:

    the 'reputation age', in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others

    The only thing that changed is that in the past there were natural barriers and thresholds for idiots "online". Now there are none, so the problem is solved by artificial "reputation" measurements.

    • Actually, there are two things which changed. First, the gatekeepers to knowledge selected successors with a bias. Second, the barriers to mass communication were massively reduced, which resulted in people becoming aware that the gatekeepers to knowledge were not trustworthy.

      There has always been some of this, but people did not realize how extensive it was. My first experience of this occurred when I was 12. I witnessed an event that was being recorded for the evening news. Then I watched the evening
      • Then I watched the evening news broadcast of the event and what they said about the event bore little resemblance to what I had witnessed while standing next to the camera and the reporter who reported on the event

        This has been known for ages.

        "There must have been three thousand of [the dead]."

        "It must have been all of the people who were at the station."

        The woman measured him with a pitying look. "There haven't been any dead here." She said. "Since the time of your uncle, the colonel, nothing has happened

  • Has no one mentioned Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom?
    Well someone should do that!

  • What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is spotting and confirming the veracity of the news AND reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that lent it credibility. BECAUSE doing so helps verify the truth of the matter, which is the ultimate goal.

    There. Fixed it for her.

    On the surface, I have to agree that a web of trust would be really handy when it comes to weeding out bullshit. And I think everyone does this passively to some extent. We all know a few news sources which are full of bullshit. And hey, I trust foxnews.... to put a spin on stories of a certain flavor. Take that into account and you can learn a lot about what's going on in the world as well as how groups of people view it. And just because I used to hold CNN in high regard

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.

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