How to know great information from bad
Knowledge is in abundance and is accessible within seconds. Content is producing at ridiculous rates overwhelming readers, thus learning to filter is paramount.
Individuals with low credibility position themselves as ‘experts’ and unfortunately in some cases these so-called ‘expert’ possess no credibility. The ignorant will consume any information they’ve collated and apply it unknowingly. As someone who regularly seeks knowledge, I look at many sources and never stick to one person or method. This is the most important skill you will learn. Allow me to explain my thought process.
Thinking for yourself
We have become slaves to naivety by taking information and not questioning the author or content. Consume knowledge with openness and curiosity, and you will naturally learn what’s great and what’s awful. If you fail to perform this simple process, you will be at a huge loss.
When you hear or read ensure you question it. Does it make sense? Is it applicable? Or is it nonsense where the writer is trying too hard?
Let’s paint a picture, person A read something from a credible source and naturally relays the information learned. However, he is not interested in reading other sources for different opinions. Person A then shares his insight and opinion with person B. This individual is well-versed in the related subject and enjoys a friendly debate. Person A did not carry out extensive research so he may not understand the views of person B. Potentially resulting in an argument if both parties have conflicting views.
Expose yourself to as much as possible in the beginning
Two months ago, I started to train for a 5k race that is set to take place in March. Running for the sake of running was foreign to me it was a new journey I was excited for. There were many things to understand from pacing, jogging form, and general training methods. I mentioned in the first sentence that knowledge is in abundance and indeed it applies here too. In a short time, I’ve read upwards of 100 articles and around 30 videos on running, enabling a prompt understanding on the world of running.
Although I am advocating this action, please be careful not to burn yourself out. Consuming knowledge in great amounts is taxing on the brain and you may end up confusing yourself as there are many opinions online. This moves me onto my final tip, cancelling out the noise.
Cancel out the noise
Everyone is free to have their opinions on anything and everything. You have to learn to cancel out the noise. Social media and news can shape our opinions unconsciously and you will recall certain information without credible sources. While learning new topics, be mindful of what’s out there. There are going to be many opinions that are contradictory to popular beliefs, or opinions that are silly and accepted by the ignorant. Those who possess a huge following have their opinion accepted within their society with little backlash.
Every subject contains sectors within them and it’s well-advised to stay away from any particular group. There are situations in which there is no definitive answer and ambiguity is common. Opinionated individuals may try to force their knowledge upon you, but this is where you need to hold your own and cancel out the noise. Otherwise, confusion and questions will overcome you, and the path of seeking information will become a pain you no longer want to pursue.
With access to knowledge becoming easier as technology advances, knowing where to seek information and who to trust is vital. Credible sources are forgotten while individuals with enormous followings are listened to. Take what you wish from this blog or forget everything I’ve said. My aim is for people not to be naïve and oblivious.
I hope you question who you learn from, look at the source of the information and think for yourself.