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Thread: How do YOU know when something is true?

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    How do YOU know when something is true?

    In light of the heated political discussions here these past days, I began to think about the philosophical question related to our ideas about and our sources of truth. When we were youngsters, our parents were our source of truth (at least until we found out about Santa and the Easter Bunny).

    As an adult, how do you know what is true? Are there trusted sources you go to for knowledge or is it mostly your own internal logic? More specifically, what makes you so sure that what you are saying on here in the political debates is really correct?
    (old Gaelic saying) Chan eil h-uile facal sireadh freagairt. Not every question requires an answer.

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    If the CBO scores something as costing $X or creating Y number of jobs, I take that a little more seriously than when a politician says it.

    If NPR reports something in the news, I trust that they have the least amount of intention to incite a visceral reaction from their audience in relation to other news outlets.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyBraska View Post
    (at least until we found out about Santa and the Easter Bunny)
    And the baby Jesus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishioka View Post
    If the CBO scores something as costing $X or creating Y number of jobs, I take that a little more seriously than when a politician says it.

    If NPR reports something in the news, I trust that they have the least amount of intention to incite a visceral reaction from their audience in relation to other news outlets.

    And the baby Jesus

    Actually, "intention to incite a visceral reaction from the audience" is EXACTLY what Mike Daisey was trying to do when he fabricated news on NPR for the story about Apple Computer manufacturing in China. And they later found he had done it on multiple stories over time.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...-factory-story

    I am teetering on the edge of pure nihilism myself.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MyBraska View Post
    In light of the heated political discussions here these past days, I began to think about the philosophical question related to our ideas about and our sources of truth. When we were youngsters, our parents were our source of truth (at least until we found out about Santa and the Easter Bunny).

    As an adult, how do you know what is true? Are there trusted sources you go to for knowledge or is it mostly your own internal logic? More specifically, what makes you so sure that what you are saying on here in the political debates is really correct?
    I try to do the math... I did pretty well in physics and chemistry and am an engineer.... Throw in World and American History, Legal principals classes... Bible Study... then you try to fall back to the more factual lessons in economics and time value of money... and then there is the biggest source of wealth destruction... the Efficient Market Hypothesis... Oh well, I did pretty well until I got to that one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskernut View Post
    Actually, "intention to incite a visceral reaction from the audience" is EXACTLY what Mike Daisey was trying to do when he fabricated news on NPR for the story about Apple Computer manufacturing in China. And they later found he had done it on multiple stories over time.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...-factory-story

    I am teetering on the edge of pure nihilism myself.
    That Mike Daisey story was run on This American Life - not strictly an NPR production (distributed by Public Radio International as I understand it) and not even really a news program. A couple weeks ago they ran an essay about some lady whose dad married a Thai mail order bride and then ran off to Thailand to be with his other Thai bride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishioka View Post
    That Mike Daisey story was run on This American Life - not strictly an NPR production (distributed by Public Radio International as I understand it) and not even really a news program. A couple weeks ago they ran an essay about some lady whose dad married a Thai mail order bride and then ran off to Thailand to be with his other Thai bride.
    OK. It's not NPR, but it does run on most public radio stations. And Ira Glass has said they they are a news program in their journalistic ethics, and that what Daisey did was wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishioka View Post
    That Mike Daisey story was run on This American Life - not strictly an NPR production (distributed by Public Radio International as I understand it) and not even really a news program. A couple weeks ago they ran an essay about some lady whose dad married a Thai mail order bride and then ran off to Thailand to be with his other Thai bride.
    We appear to catch a lot of the same NPR, I heard that story too. Daisey is a bad example to pin on NPR, he used them, fabricated all sorts of stuff for a successful one man show, publicized his stuff in many other corners than NPR (PRI, whatever), he was a con man and he has been exposed.

    Generally speaking, I think journalistic integrity is going down the toilet and has been for some time, it's never been perfect but if you combine corporate-sponsored journalism with web "journalism," well, let's everybody triple check everything with multiple sources going forward because it ain't getting better any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskernut View Post
    OK. It's not NPR, but it does run on most public radio stations. And Ira Glass has said they they are a news program in their journalistic ethics, and that what Daisey did was wrong.
    Definitely - I remember seeing the guy on The Daily Show and not once did he ever say he was embellishing anything. Just sat down and started talking about all the horrible things he saw dreamed up like it was all fact. Not sure if that was intentional or if he mistakenly thought that everyone was in on the joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishioka View Post
    Definitely - I remember seeing the guy on The Daily Show and not once did he ever say he was embellishing anything. Just sat down and started talking about all the horrible things he saw dreamed up like it was all fact. Not sure if that was intentional or if he mistakenly thought that everyone was in on the joke.
    He lied through his teeth and (bizarrely) assumed in the internet age that nobody would catch him. Really shameful in that it was the most public shaming effort of Chinese factory conditions, and now that it's been proven to be bunk they'll probably get away with plenty more than that with impunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishioka View Post

    If NPR reports something in the news, I trust that they have the least amount of intention to incite a visceral reaction from their audience in relation to other news outlets.
    Inciting a visceral reaction may be one thing, and I agree that NPR keeps things pretty low key. However, they seem to have a liberal agenda when shaping the news. Current events, filtered through the jokes on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, is decidedly slanted Left, and the content of what they report or choose to NOT report on in the hourly news seems to be less focused on bad things from the Left than those from the Right. Juan Williams wrote about his NPR experience in Muzzled, The Assault On Honest Debate. And remember when James O'Keefe posed undercover as a Muslim potential donor, leading to the NPR chief Ronald Schiller's resignation for the comments he made about the Tea Party, among other things? http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/james...ry?id=13097536

    In my opinion, NPR has its place, but does not always deliver the "truth".
    (old Gaelic saying) Chan eil h-uile facal sireadh freagairt. Not every question requires an answer.

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    I don't know if you could consider any source un-biased. If you believe a source isn't biased it is probably because you agree with it and it reinforces your position.

    The first rule of being a subscriber of information is to understand the sources objectives and bias. From that you can start to build a filter and frame to consume their information.
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