BubbaBuddhist wrote:...specious sources like Wikipedia...
And libraries are specious free?
ANYBODY can write on Wik. Douglas Hofstadter (of GEB fame) has tried to edit his own biography on Wik for years and the editors keep correcting it. He's finally developed a sense of humor about it. The vetting process for reference books is usually much more stringent. I've written five non-fiction books and worked with editors, and it's maddening; a good one will check and double-check your work, against numerous authorities, and have you verify everything. Then the editor's work is checked. I've tried to correct falsified information on Wik about my own profession; for example, many of the entries about show business people are total fabrications. One example: Derren Brown never performed hypnosis shows in college. He was a creation of BBC writers. Three of my friends were approached to portray the character the BBC created before one of them suggested him, and two of them helped train him and write the scripts. He was a middlin-fair card trick guy before the BBC recreated him. Another: James Randi was convicted of pedophilia in New Jersey 1972 for soliciting teenaged boys; he's tried to first deny this, then explain it as a sting with the New Jersey Police. He was also once arrested for harboring several illegal alien Haitian teenage boys in his house. Anytime this has been brought up on the Internet, Randi's cult mobilized to have the court records and answering machine tapes removed. His disciples defended him for years as a man of impeccable honor, even though his books are full of misrepresentations and misquotes. Now that he's been charges with aiding and abetting in identity theft and fraud, things seem a little different, but there will still be people who defend him because of the huge amount of followers he's gained over the years. He's the Osho of uncritical skeptic wanderers looking for a guru.
Point: It's too easy to manipulate information on the Internet. And too easy to get so caught up in cyber-life you mistake it for real life.
I know it's far easier to cocoon and never leave the house and live life precariously over the Internet. I ride the bus and kids are plugged into various I-devices and never look at the world or people around them. Or are texting furiously instead of having an actual conversation. I'm probably starting to sound like a relic from an archaic generation, which I feel more and more like each year.