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What is the most credible source of information in your opinion?

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posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:07 AM
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As my very first post here on ATS, I thought it would be interesting to understand the member’s general state of mind. It has come to my attention that on almost ever board found here there are those who adamantly dispute any and all “factual” information they can by placing the burden of proof on the original poster. However, the matter of “fact” is, for all intents and purposes, speculative on all accounts when considering the legitimacy of the source. Therefore the question must be asked. What is the most credible source of information for providing true facts?

There are those who post information provided by the Main Stream Media only to have others denounce its factualness under the pretence that the MSM is corrupted. On the other hand, there are those who site the alternative news outlets and blogs only to be lambasted for not providing a valid MSM mention. Many claim visual proof to be the final word, but, as we all know, photos and videos are picked apart faster than a holiday turkey. Which leaves us with such reliable sources as “word of mouth” , “eye-witness accounts”, or the ever popular “friend of a friend”; you might as well leave that sort of nonsense for your facebook page. So, I’ll ask the question again. In the opinion of the ATS collective, what is the most credible source of information to be sited?




posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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The fact is that anyone can be paid or threatened enough to spew the "official" story verbatim.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:20 AM
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Excellent question. I just posted a comment in another thread along the same lines: both sides of a given controversy smear the opponents' sources, claim they have scientific support, but ultimately rely on the word of "experts" whose work they can't verify themselves. Many logical fallacies fly in all directions: appeal to authority, appeal to popularity, hearsay, straw man, equivocation, etc. But even scientists fall prey to such things and take the word of other scientists not in their own specialty as proven facts even when it later turns out they were wrong (e.g., the "mitochondrial Eve" study which was found to be based upon very flawed methods).

The basic problem is that people make errors in thinking, lie to protect their reputations, and love to jump on bandwagons. Cutting through the fog is a lot of work. So I expect that even a discussion on epistemology (how you know what you know) is bound to devolve into just another shouting match.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:23 AM
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what is the most credible source of information to be sited?


None.

People, robots here on ATS only listen to what suits their agenda. I have been writing rant after rant about getting our facts straight. You will never win the "trusted news" info war here on ATS.

Just buckle up and prepare for whatever you decide to post. Back it up with the facts you find. That is all you can do. Let everybody else live in never never land.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


It is the proof of scientific evidence that honestly got me thinking about this. There are many among us who take the word of scientist as gold but only after their research has been published and peer reviewed. Yet there are just as many who know and believe that these “formalities” are meaningless when considering the facts of “Who is funding the research?” and “What do the scientist gain from supporting it?”. The business of global warming is an excellent example of this, as is any information released from NASA.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:48 AM
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The truth is more important than the facts.
Frank Lloyd Wright


edit on 6-5-2011 by darbur because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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I've learned to discover that truth is only the information I can verify myself. Anything else that is fed to me through any source which I cannot verify on my own is merely hearsay. Societal tendencies tend to lead people to treat information as a truth if they feel the source has any bit of credibility, while it is merely a belief.

Truth is found within. I've learned in my years, truth is the only information you can verify for yourself. I've been led astray enough, and replacing truth for belief was the catalyst. It closes doors. Deny ignorance.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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Yet truth and facts go hand in hand. To believe that something is true requires a search for the facts, but the credibility of the source of such facts is what is in question. As it was started earlier, anyone can be pressured into saying what needs to be said. So how can one verify there source of facts as truth? Gut feeling and instinct won’t win arguments. It is said that the truth will always prevail but will the patience and attention of the people last that long?



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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I don't have one source of information that I trust. I read/watch/listen to a variety of sources, realizing that the truth is probably not being reported factually, but with a spin toward forwarding an agenda. So, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of the extremes, or not being reported at all.

Actually, the most reliable take on the information that's out there is probably Jon Stewart.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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confirmed disinfo is the best source of info, because it speaks in ways nobody ever intends.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 10:23 AM
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So happy to see your first post be a thoughtful and significant question.

If I missed your arrival, welcome!

If you haven't been victim to my style of dialog in the past, I apologize in advance, as I am an unabashed verbose member. You may see why once the post is done.

You have - from the onset - demonstrated an acute awareness of a very consistent and dynamic challenge which lies before any member who wishes to discuss the human condition, be it sociological, humanistic, historical, metaphysical, or otherwise.

About this aspect of our community you could find no better dialog which, in my opinion, should be nearly never-ending.

Sources, are something which many (many) members confuse with information. And many (many) members use sources as a measure of the information they receive; why? Because we generally have no real faith in information we cannot measure and verify - a conditioned response as we mature in the world of 'consumed' information. People like myself often wonder about information and it's quality because we often see aspects of information used improperly to exercise 'persuasive dialog' as opposed to statements of fact... towards persuasive ends, even questions can be couched in such a manner as to affect dialog.

I believe the short, merciful, answer to you OP is that credibility is a function of cross-verifiability; but even that is no guarantee of accuracy, or lack of bias.

If you will indulge me, allow me to conduct an intellectual exercise which I am hoping will allow me to more fully explore the answer I propose to your question.

Generally speaking, I can conjure up what many consider 'sources', for our deliberation:

A - Members - Directly relayed personal stories, accounts, and observations
B - Professional Media - produced stories, accounts, and observations
C - Non-professional media - personal blogs, anecdotes of personal stories, accounts, and observations
D - Archival information - historically recorded stories, accounts, and observations

But no accounting of the sources can be complete without understanding that 'sources' are only one part of the information; the medium is also a factor in considering its reliability. Mediums such as:

1 - Broadcast television - decreasing in range and volume, it is one vehicle which brings many information
2 - Cable television - expanding to overshadow the former, this industrialized behemoth has infiltrated even the next medium
3 - Internet - A conglomerate of information ostensibly amassed by communities at large
4 - Radio - the most pervasive and easiest medium to access

I have likely forgotten some examples, but the point I was making is that any objection to information sources is contingent upon more than the information delivered....

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A - Members - Directly relayed personal stories, accounts, and observations

Sources as in "A" are the easiest to refute. Many here have encountered the brazen outspoken few who are quick to call people liars, shills, crazy, or otherwise disparage their character as a means to refute what they say. Almost every member in that circumstance faces the final capitulation which is inevitably to admit that other members must choose to accept their account or not. These sources may or may not be genuine, or free of nefarious intent, and since we are dealing with a person, rules of etiquette and decorum are enforced.... "post unto others as you would have them post unto you"... so to speak.

But note, the source "A" group can not necessarily be discharged as unreliable or untrustworthy per se; so the point of questioning their credibility is more an aspect of the mindset of those who object to the content they provide. In all matters, simply accepting what a member posts is not an endorsement of the content, why people feel it's necessary to denigrate, belittle, or question a contributing members character often requires explanation, shifting the focus of the post to the dissenter (perhaps a clue as to why it's done at all.)

B - Professional Media - produced stories, accounts, and observations

We must accept that the distinguishing feature of produced media is that the information, prior to reaching the member, is first reported, reviewed by editorialist, and processed by a network of professionals (who previously were aligned with the paradigms of journalistic integrity, but no longer). They have editorial policy and commercial concerns that are part of the equation of what information is delivered via their medium of operation.

Because so many factors influence the final "product to be consumed" by an audience, it is difficult to describe a more tenuous circumstance under which information could reach us. The striking reality of limited ownership of such productions, the direct commercial (and thus political) benefit of promoting perspectives, and the negation of editorial neutrality, makes professional media the least potentially reliable sources. Ownership agenda, high-profile client agendas, and institutional perceptions are far too prevalent to ignore completely. While we may be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to such widespread information dissemination, it remains an unexamined leap of faith that few seem willing to recognize; partially because in tradition the "press" was beyond reproach (or so they told us then), a notion which is now very suspect.

C - Non-professional media - personal blogs, anecdotes of personal stories, accounts, and observations

Much of this kind of material is 'hearsay.' lacking vetting, or credentials the establishment itself controls, we can see the ultimate freedom to 'spin' or 'characterize' information as the speaker sees fit. In a world where many rely on the adage "The ends justifies the means" it is nearly always a leap of faith to simply accept what a well-spoken, or well crafted article or commentary might portray. In the end, this kind of information is just as potentially unreliable as professionally-produced media; although the dissenter has more range of freedom to debate it since it has none of the assumed controls and checks that professional media purports to have (assuming you believe they exercise that kind of sincerity in their productions.)

As a demonstration of the similarity between blog-type and hearsay information, note how many bloggers have become 'professionals' and are embraced by the professional media; particularly the politically-focused subject matter.

D - Archival information - historically-recorded stories, accounts, and observations

Among the least welcome of all data is that which was once penned or spoken, then resided in historical archived documentation which none can truly examine without extended research into the crafter of the words and the circumstances surrounding the material.

This is "high maintenance" information which many seem not to enjoy refuting without direct contradictory historical data that they can claim is more 'accepted.' Often, such material is 'official' and conjures up conspiracy theories due to it's limited distribution and the effort it requires to extract it from the record.

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Now, none of the above can be assumed as complete without considering the medium of transfer... which now more than ever has a direct bearing on the reliability of the information since technology has intertwined itself with our ability to communicate in forums like these.

1 - Broadcast television - decreasing in range and volume, it is one vehicle which brings many information

Once the mainstay of the community, and now nearly completely defunct in practice, broadcasting information for consumption was recognized early on by many as to require regulation and oversight. As the legalities of corporate persons and liability impacted those operating the stations, it became less attractive to any who's operational paradigm included "opinion making," which was the PRIME driver behind commercial broadcasting.

Also, there was no way to be certain in measuring its effectiveness to that wend since there was no way to know who was listening. As a result, television 'entertainment' paradigm became the "honey" with which they would attract their potential "flies." Early on in TV history, the idea was that the 'feel good' and 'family values' perception was it's main stake in society.... it evolved horribly though as many can attest.

2 - Cable television - expanding to overshadow the former, this industrialized behemoth has infiltrated even the next medium

Perhaps part of the evolution of television, this move was a corporate "broadcasting" blessing. Direct physical connection tot he consumer created many opportunities to exploit information about societies and cultures which could never be directly measured before. The trade and commercialization potential led to development of very sophisticated means to measure people.... which made the medium extraordinarily useful to the political party. We can imagine why.

Aside from the information product which is produced to be disseminated, there are the service owners who profit from it's proliferation... a niche which we have all seen hurriedly occupied by the same handful of media producers who seem to maneuver easily in the environment due to their close and friendly relationship with regulators, legislators, and of course, the party.

3 - Internet - A conglomerate of information ostensibly amassed by communities at large

What at once seemed to display the potential to become the singular forum of global human interaction has been segmented and cordoned off to more closely match the control paradigm of political institutions and commercial industry. This has not dissuaded many to continue to doggedly hang on to the possibility of making that potential a reality. Since among those genuinely inclined to try and make the internet a vehicle of the general uplifting of humankind, there are those who's personal, organizations, or ideological agendas; we often see a degradation of the quality of information which some call 'disinformation' (an intelligence doctrine as old as mankind), this claim may or may not be wrong depending on a reality to which less and less people have unhindered access.

4 - Radio - the most pervasive and easiest medium to access

The last bastion of true 'broadcast' information stands, totally marginalized by consolidated ownership and contractual broadcasting licence controls; fewer and fewer stations are truly operated by any single entity... most are parts of conglomerates playing music off the same robo-playlists, news pumped in from a central office, and generally managed by the owners as a "lowest common denominator" vehicle. For example, when was the last time you heard of a radio-station having an investigative journalist.... let alone breaking a story on their own?

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So what is the best most credible or reliable source?... The above is what you get when a general question without specifics is posed. But that question needed to be asked, in my opinion. I hope others can contribute to it to balance out what are my opinions.

If you were looking for specifics... many will disagree... but there are none. All sources must be considered as giving what is more akin to clues than facts.... only because we can know so little about the source excpet for what the source says....

Great question!



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Yeah,...what Max said..

That was a very good answer to the op's question.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


First I will say thank you with the greatest of intentions to cover all that you wrote. Your response was far more entertaining and thought provoking than I had anticipated. My question was not intended to find a specific source. It was merely an attempt to understand the general consensus of the people. I am an avid believer in each individual being entitled to his or her opinion and hold no intentions of ever attempting to sway them. What we choose to take as truth is our prerogative.

In addition to all that you wrote, the only other means of information which I feel require some mention would be the written press, as in new papers, magazines, scientific journals, etc. and photographic evidence.

The written press, much like broadcast television, once served it’s purpose well, but now with corporate media ownership, commercial ad space and pressured agendas, it’s lost it’s luster. Not to mention the lack of true investigative journalist these days. Most of what is written is simply a cut and paste from the political front page. Magazines and journals are no better. If you wish to know the flow of the river, then follow the money up the stream.

As for photographic evidence. This use to be the one and only definitive source of proof. The old adage “I won’t believe it until I see the pictures”. Of course this was before the day of Photoshop and digital editing. Now it takes a team of “experts” to distinguish the originals from the frauds.

So the end of my conclusion it that no matter where we get out information from, regardless of how “factual” it may be, there will always be someone there to dispute it. In this day and age where information and misinformation fly together as freely as the birds, the truth is often left behind.

Thank You.



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