Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Do You Know What You Know?

KnowingI just got back from a conference yesterday, and I haven't really had the time yet to organize my thoughts. There are many blog posts to sift through and emails to answer, so I'm Otherwise Occupied for now. However, as I was going through some of my library blogs, I found an excellent post on recognizing the worth of information, by Dan Russell. Really well thought out post, and very recommended reading. Check it out.

HOW do I know to trust what I’ve read /looked-up/been told?  (I’m going to abbreviate this as RLBT, shorthand for “indirectly learned knowledge.”)  The answer is that we all develop an intuition about what we RLBT and how much to believe it. 

The problem is that this is largely automatic.  The process of RLBTing and deciding to believe something is so well-practiced that we do this constantly beneath the level of conscious perception.  When I hear something on Fox News, I’m immediately skeptical (without thinking much about why); when I read something in the NYTimes, I’m immediately believing (again, without much thinking about why). (READ MORE)
So often with technology and searching these days, we don't take the time to question what we read--and to question why we think what we think. It's important in our quest for better search tools and faster/smarter tech to not forget that in the end, it's all worthless unless we've got our minds in good working order. 



  1. Today's xkcd comic. How timely:

  2. I was wondering what the summer hours for Mantor are? I didn't see them posted on the website.

  3. Hi, Anonymous, thanks for asking! Summer hours for the library are:
    Today through July 29:
    Monday - Thursday 8am - 6pm, Friday 8am -4:30pm.
    July 30 - August 30:
    Monday - Friday, 8am - 4:30pm.