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The Net is Becoming a More Reliable Source

By skim123 in News
Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 02:57:28 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

An interesting Fred Moody article over at ABCNews.com discusses how the Net has grown into a more reliable source of information over the past year. Moody points out a number of events that, he believes, have moved the Internet from a place of hoaxes and misinformation, to a reliable news outlet. A very interesting piece.


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The Net is Becoming a More Reliable Source | 6 comments (6 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I think Moody has placed too much e... (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by techt on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 12:03:57 AM EST

techt voted 1 on this story.

I think Moody has placed too much emphasis on the net becoming a better information source, and not that which I think is more likely the source of better information -- Fred Moody's and other netizen's learned ability to better filter the information offered to them by the net.
Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
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Re: I think Moody has placed too much e... (none / 0) (#5)
by Inoshiro on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 11:22:02 AM EST

I don't think that's learn, at least not in the way you imply. Generally, the people who deal with the with net are the same ones who question things in classes to gain better understanding, or who have firm opinions on a matter. Everyone else must learn this second hand, much like they must learn how to use a different model of microwave instead of adapting a to the simple differences between the two.

Basically, some people, through incompotence or lack of understanding, simply do not think when it comes to certain matters. For some people, their knowledge blackhole is very large, for others it is merely focused on one thing. Almost universally, these people do not understand computers, or even simple electronic devices.

Kinda like the newsreporter who said the programs responsible for the DDoSes were all daemons, and to watch for daemons on your systems. It's a shame I can't install electrical shock plates in the floors around computers, and write a program to accelerate social darwinism. Sigh..

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Interesting article. Of course, I a... (3.50 / 2) (#1)
by rusty on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 12:45:00 AM EST

rusty voted 1 on this story.

Interesting article. Of course, I always thought the net was just another medium, no more or less trustworthy than print, or TV. The moral of the story is, no matter what you're looking at, think about it before you trust it.

Not the real rusty

Re: Interesting article. Of course, I a... (3.50 / 2) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 03:07:14 AM EST

I wholeheartedly agree. Even on "trusted" sources such as Slashdot you can see how rumors, misquotes, and hearsay easily get spread as fact, and the fact that on these *ahem* misinformed stories about 90% of the comments are regarding the misquoted blurb, or sometimes even just speculation based on the headline, shows that even in "well-informed" circles you still end up with people willing to be led around like sheep.

One of my recent experiments on /. was to see how badly I could misquote a story and sensationalize it before someone would post it just to get a bunch of clicks. (Un?)fortunately, none of my experiments made it onto the front page, so either they were rejected by someone other than Malda, or Malda actually read the articles for once. However, look at how many people are willing to put their complete faith in stock tips gleaned from Yahoo Clubs, or willingly get scammed by spam, "virus" reports, chain letters and all their offshoots, and the like...

One of the most disheartening Internet-related experiences was one time when my dad had forwarded a copy of my homepage to his inbox (for whatever reason), the next piece of mail they got was porn-related spam, and my mom saw the juxtaposition of my homepage (which was, at the time, entitled "fluffy porcupine's house of love") and porn spam and wrongly put 2 and 2 together to come to the conclusion that I was some sort of p0rn p1mp.

The Internet is, IMO, more reliable than other media when you scrutinize it. Other media don't give you the option of scrutiny. However, if you don't bother to think for yourself and read up on all the facts, how can you expect it to be any better than the 30-seconds-a-story sensationalistic hyped-up drivel you get on any network with an F or a C in the name?
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

My point, it floats (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by kmself on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 07:06:52 AM EST

The epiphany for me came in 1994, when Intel released its Pentium chip with the FDIV -- floating point devision -- rounding error.

Within a few days of the inital outside discovery of the bug, the news had circulated to an email/Usenet group I monitored. I -- a fresh-out-of-school greenhorn at the time -- forwarded the report with a cautiously worded "this has not been confirmed, but nobody has denied it either" cover note to our systems folks.

When the next few days failed to produce any rebuttal -- and finally Intel publicly admitted to the fault later in the week, I realized what the MO for net-based (this was pre-Web days, kids <g>) information was: suspended disbelief. Most information could be corroborated or refuted quickly. In 1994, the cycle took a few days. Now it's generally down to hours, for information which is tangibly verifiable. I remember one instance in which competing bookstores published a set of combative press releases, over the course of a day, with the final one reading simply "!" in response to the preposterous tone of the competitor's prior release (yes, this made it to Slashdot).

The Web's dynamic is simply this: people have voices. If a statement is given as fact, it is very often followed shortly by a confirming or denying statement from another source. Truth ferretts itself out in short order. There is no reliance on a single authority.

Moody's been a slow learner in the past. He's stumbled over this truth enough times to have finally realized it.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

Re: The Net is Becoming a More Reliable Source (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Mar 01, 2000 at 08:35:38 PM EST

Ahh Fred Moody - remember his "Linux Sux" article? He had some "secret informant" at an ISP who told him "linux sux," which he gleefully reprinted as fact, bad spelling and all. That was the entire extent of his evidence, a few emails from an apparently disgruntled employee. So, I'd have to say the guy has spread his own share of misinformation on the internet.

The Net is Becoming a More Reliable Source | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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