From: NPR

Truth-Seeking In The Age Of Speculation


The marvel-filled Information Age is also turning out to be the muddled-up Epoch of Conjecture. The Era of Error.

Seemingly, we know everything. What is not in Wikipedia can be found through Google. And what Google can’t scrape up, the National Security Agency — or international hackers — can. Through crowdsourcing, we can solve crimes and answer questions.

Just as seemingly, there is an enormous lot that we do not know. For example: Where is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Is faster-than-light speed really possible? What exactly is causing colony collapse disorder among bees? Do cellphones cause cancer? Can we on the Internet?

And when we don’t know for sure, we speculate.

And when we make frivolous guesses about something serious — that Flight 370 disappeared in a black hole, for instance — does that diminish the seriousness of the situation? If we traffic in speculation, does that dilute factual information? Do we become suspicious of what is real and what is not? Do we undermine our trust in information and in one another?

Or is this all just so much speculation — about speculation?

Read the whole story: NPR

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