Over A Fifth Of Our Atmosphere Is Now Toxic Gas!

Isn’t it outrageous that headlines can grab people’s attention by saying things that just aren’t true? This sort of click-bait title tries to assert things without basis and relies on people not checking them or getting sucked in by the hype, right? We need to get back to talking about facts! Show your research! The lies and propaganda have gone too far. Right?

Well, we can crack-down on fact-checking, but as our hypothetical headline-writer will smugly assert, the article title above is true; factually speaking. It is, of course, also completely misleading. Therein lies the issue. Continue reading

Misinformation Age

When I was a kid, we had a School Computer.

Yes, that’s right, singular. This was the early 90s; it was wheeled between classrooms on a trolley and played a selection of blocky educational games about as engaging as a marketing pamphlet about sensible shoes. Later, there were computer rooms, but we certainly didn’t have mobile phones to consult on any given enquiry. FBI agents on TV had mobile phones; kids at school did not. Teenagers didn’t have an important reason to warrant getting one. That last part hasn’t really changed.

Anyway. The point I’m underlining is how widely available information is. With the powerful array of devices often only a tap from the internet, we’re more plugged-in than ever. Access to incredible resources like Wikipedia have revolutionised autodidactism and even regular taught education. Thanks to the concept of crowd-content, you can find videos about any kind of esoteric thing you are trying to do; from upgrading Nerf guns to learning when to omit the phrase “watashi wa” in Japanese.

But there is a concerning side-effect to the information revolution. Continue reading