Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Words to the wise

Jac hits the proverbial nail on the head:
If we're going to be skeptical of the mainstream media's analysis, we should be even more skeptical of bloggers' critiques of the mainstream media's analysis.
This was in regards to the media coverage of the Mumbai catastrophe, but I think it's good advice to anyone getting their information from the blogosphere. Blogs are wonderful places to find information or analysis or opinion. A good blog will link out to all sorts of relevant information, and will boil all that information down into something somewhat more approachable. There is a frenetic quality to blogging and to reading blogs, a sort of disjointedness that appeals to those hungry for lots of news, clips, tidbits, little morsels of wisdom, the occasional brilliant analysis or prediction.

But I think many people place too much faith in the hands of the bloggers they admire.

Certainly if you want real news, go read the New York Times or CNN. Don't come to my blog for original stories--just my own, often-flawed opinions. I love blogs for what they are, and they provide a new way for us to gather knowledge. I love Wikipedia for similar reasons, but I certainly don't trust it to do anything more than get me started down a path of revelation.

Perhaps the old cautionary wisdom holds true: Trust, but verify.