Crap Detection

Prior to reading anything on “crap detection”, I was very skeptical as to how it was going to be portrayed.  I assumed it was going to be very dry, and tell me a whole lot about stuff I already knew.  

I was wrong. I learned a lot from Howard Rheingold, while also making several connections to my every day life.

Ever since I could remember my father has told me “don’t try to be somebody who knows all of the answers, be somebody who knows how to find them”. This almost seems to be Rheingold’s main point. Crap Detection 101 discusses that the internet is up and coming, as well as our best source for information. 

Among countless others, I use google to answer any question I have. Whether it be how to change the oil in my car or math homework, I can find the answer.  Thats the beauty of the internet and new media, and Rheingold argues this strongly. Now comes the real dilemma; crap detection.

Other than being the title, crap detection is also important because as a society, we must decipher and question the information that is presented to us.  The main, and most obvious, reason for this is that the information loses all credibility if we do not attempt to question its origin. 

As a whole, we need to constantly analyze information just to stay afloat. In other words, just to make it through our daily struggles.  Rheingold also argues that we need to take this incredibly vast source of information and use it to grow as a community. We must take advantage of the convenience we have to google whatever we want, and never stop.

Because of the new technology that we have at our fingertips, the sky is the limit for knowledge.

And it is time to finally take advantage.

Crap Detection

2 thoughts on “Crap Detection

  1. I think that this is very important and a very good general gist to what he is trying to communicate to his audience. One important specific detail that I read that I believe relates to your blog is his theory on how hes filters out the crap to get more reliable, accurate data for whatever his is trying to research. Two main strategies that Rheingold uses is first to make sure that you are asking good thorough questions, doing this will allow the search engine to bring up data this is more relatable to what you are searching for. Second, he suggests to look and see the author to the page that you are reading and maybe do a back up search on the author and see if the author is really a reliable source. Now me personally, I have not really been doing his second suggestion since I read the article, but I have been paying a lot more attention to what I have been typing into the google search engine and I see a huge improvement in what type of articles show up. Also, even though I do not use his second suggestion a lot right now, I plan on testing his theory out in the future when it comes to something more serious for example like my finals at the end of the semester. I think when you you are just searching thing on google for fun you do not really need to do background checks on the authors but it would definitely be something you want to do if you are using their information on a final paper of yours.


  2. I found this video very useful. I always knew that people could put anything they wanted on the Internet and say it was “factual” but I never knew how to decipher whether or not it actually was. I found this video to be most useful for my college education. It is important to know what information you are putting in a research paper is actually factual scholarly research and what was made up by some random person that claims to ‘know it all’.


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