What is it that makes you strongly believe or reject an idea or a piece of information? Simply put, how do you validate information? And how often do you feel the need or urge to validate something? Be it the news, a research, even in historical context.
Also, does credibility of the source overpower your own judgement or ability to decipher?
It has to make sense, not be contradictory. For instance, the most blatant case of it in recent times is the mainstream news here in the US. First they black out Occupy Wall St. Then they black out Bernie Sanders during the primaries. Then all of a sudden after Trump got elected they are covering "women's marches" and pushing this Russia narrative, etc. I don't believe a thing coming from the mainstream news, it's all distraction and diversion from the real issue. But you can even see it in what they emphasize as opposed to what they never cover. This is also a contradiction. Hour after hour of news about scary Russia, sexual assault in Hollywood, how silly Trump is but nothing about Yemen, the opioid epidemic, poverty, who owns the major TV networks, who was paid off in Congress, etc. Can you imagine what would happen if they covered real stories? People would be up in arms over the shoddy condition of this country and they wouldn't just question Trump. Definitely not just him.
Would 'make sense' not be a subjective approach?
But I guess the observations made are spot on. When it comes to mainstream media in any part of the world, nothing actually makes sense anymore. The standards and ethics are on a sharp decline.
Also, I think when it comes to 'Trump obsession' of the media, it's largely owed to Trump's own folly. Although it's not like he's the epitome of everything that is wrong, or despicable and cringeworthy, as is the discourse, media projection and even endlessly discussed on the HP feed. Again it may just be my view, but I do feel he's not that refined and perhaps does not have what it takes to hold the most powerful office.
!! Donald Trump is not refined, is not of the elite PC aristocracy of the country??!! How can you say such a thing?!?
You're absolutely right, of course, but I'm not sure that that makes him unfit to hold the office. Perhaps it's time that gentrified aristocracy learned to speak with truth and honesty rather than a constant stream of irrelevant but emotion laden words all conforming to current standards of being PC and never causing to offense no matter how much offense is desired.
If you look at it the other way round that would make more sense. Sounding politically correct, what difference does it really make? Few brownie points, Appeasement!!
But then again, there is the other side of coin too. He has earned the critics and continues to provoke them. Elite or no elite, a politician is expected to grab attention and not the other thing. You can't appease both sides and even if you stoop low, that has to be done with finesse. That's the political smokescreen.
The first thing I do is determine whether or not it's important.
If it really doesn't affect me I probably want spend a whole lot of time attempting to verify it. The majority of things we hear about are things which usually fall into opinionated issues which have no clear "right" or "wrong" aspect to them. It makes no sense to get all riled up to debate and argue over something that is (personally) irrelevant.
In the U.S. most people tune into the news channels or read newspapers that reflect (their) own beliefs and biases. There are no neutral resources!
In an ideal world we'd gather information from a variety of sources before making a decision to believe something or not to believe it.
As a writer, blogger, or author you even find yourself looking for a "specific photo" to go with your article. If the subject matter is designed to reflect negatively on an individual you are not going use one of their best looking photos. When I caught myself doing such things I began to look at everything I read online and in print asking myself why did the author (choose) that particular photo? Very little is left up to "chance".
In other instances you actually see the person saying something and later they deny saying it. Clearly you know they're not a trustworthy person.
Ultimately the world is filled with hypocrites!
People will side with whomever they usually agree with most of the time.
If for some reason that person is caught up in something that is 'shady" they'll find a way to still support by deflecting, justifying, defending, or ignoring whatever it is that was done. No one wants to switch sides!
From an epistemological point of view, I've tried to develop a working body of knowledge starting with historical references. Like building a foundation of well-accepted information all the way up until the present moment where some things have yet to be verified or disproven. I generally try to make an effort not to become tribal in my thinking. Some part of me wants to preserve my mental representation of the world around me but I understand the crucial process of integrating new information. I think this can be a very personal endeavor.
I think it helped quite a lot when I left social media. Every time I logged in, I took a shotgun blast of misinformation to the face. I was tired of getting drawn into hyperbolic discussions and arguing on issues that didn't have much to do with me. It was a waste of my time so I decided to be more methodical about what I allowed into my sphere of consciousness. So, if we can manage to decrease the flow of white noise, we can get a better signal.
Further, if I see something that I personally find to have no basis in reality, I conduct an internal investigation of whether or not I can even procure a coherent counter-argument. And that actually takes some work. For example, if someone posts something about a flat earth theory, I would have to spend time coming up with different arguing points on the validity of government secrecy, physics, astrophysics, human perception, etc. It's not worth my time.
Lastly, if I do happen to see something that doesn't exactly fit into my own picture of the world but has some merit, I do my best to judge the content on its merits and maybe discuss the matter further.
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