Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Critical Skills

Howard Rheingold Loss of certainty about authority and credibility is one of the prices we pay for the freedom of democratized publishing. We can no longer trust the author to guarantee the veracity of work; today’s media navigators must develop critical skills in order to find their way through the oceans of information, misinformation, and disinformation now available. The ability to analyze, investigate, and argue about what we read, see, and hear is an essential survival skill. Some bloggers can and do spread the most outrageously inaccurate and fallaciously argued information; it is up to the readers and, most significantly, other bloggers to actively question the questionable. Democratizing publishing creates a quality problem, the answer to which is democratizing criticism. Critical thinking is not something that philosophers do, but a necessary skill in a mediasphere where anybody can publish and the veracity of what you read can never be assumed.

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