View Poll Results: What do you look for in a source?

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  • Reasonable expectation of honesty

    7 58.33%
  • Reasonable expectation of fact checking

    10 83.33%
  • Reasonable expectation of peer review

    7 58.33%
  • It agrees with how I see things

    1 8.33%
  • It makes people who disagree with me look bad

    1 8.33%
  • I can verify the information myself

    6 50.00%
  • I can trust the publication (publication meaning things such as NY Times, wikipedia)

    6 50.00%
  • I am an expert in the subject

    3 25.00%
  • Common sense

    6 50.00%
  • Something else

    1 8.33%
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Thread: citation standards

  1. #1
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    tacomancer's Avatar
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    citation standards

    I was thinking on the subject of citation and trying to catalog what I consider to be minimum standards. I think I have a reasonable list that covers the approach of most people here. How about you guys? Which of the list do you have as a personal expectation when evaluating outside information?
    Last edited by tacomancer; 01-16-11 at 11:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Sage

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    Re: citation standards

    After theses things are studied, the Tuscon murders for example, we find accuracy to be at best, a sometimes thing. Anything written by man is full of errors, this has to be taken into account. About the only way a man can evaluate an event is to be there with a better view than the original, imagine how difficult that can be.
    "taken with a grain or two of salt"

  3. #3
    Sage


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    Re: citation standards

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I was thinking on the subject of citation and trying to catalog what I consider to be minimum standards. I think I have a reasonable list that covers the approach of most people here. How about you guys? Which of the list do you have as a personal expectation when evaluating outside information?
    I voted --

    I can verify the information myself
    I can trust the publication (publication meaning things such as NY Times, wikipedia)
    I am an expert in the subject
    Common sense

    I'd add one...there are certain people here who I consider to be experts on certain things. Caine (where is he, btw) falls into that category...a number of others. But still, I'll have to be able to verify; and it better pass the MaggieD test of common sense.

    Once a poster has crossed the line between believable and unbelievable, he's lost all credibility with me on that particular subject. And then, sometimes, the fun begins. ;-)
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

  4. #4
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    tacomancer's Avatar
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    Re: citation standards

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I voted --

    I can verify the information myself
    I can trust the publication (publication meaning things such as NY Times, wikipedia)
    I am an expert in the subject
    Common sense

    I'd add one...there are certain people here who I consider to be experts on certain things. Caine (where is he, btw) falls into that category...a number of others. But still, I'll have to be able to verify; and it better pass the MaggieD test of common sense.

    Once a poster has crossed the line between believable and unbelievable, he's lost all credibility with me on that particular subject. And then, sometimes, the fun begins. ;-)
    I intentionally left out personal trust and relationships because I think everyone would vote yes on that one. Its kind of a given I think. Just like pretty much everyone believes the result of their own reasoning.

  5. #5
    Count Smackula
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    Re: citation standards

    For a real citation, I either use a real-peer reviewed source or multiple confirming sources with a good reputation. For debating on this website, I typically use any decent academic or journalistic links I find. Regardless of source, I always check for conflict of interest, the bias of the writer and the overall detail of the information.

  6. #6
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    tacomancer's Avatar
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    Re: citation standards

    One reason I try to avoid common sense (except for the most obvious of things) is that often common sense is drawn from experience and there is always the possibility of some new information that requires a reevaluation of an opinion on a subject or sheds new insight into past experience. One danger with this is that too much attachment to what one "knows" may inhibit new knowledge because it may not pass the "common sense test".

    There is definitely a balancing act. On one hand, your mind should not be so open that your brains fall out, but on the other hand, we should avoid rigidity in our thinking.

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