Monday, March 7, 2011

Sourcing Platypi

~Did you know that Platypuses (or Platypi, or just Playtypus)
find their pray using electrolocation, meaning they are able to sense the electric pulses of their preys  muscle contractions. Yes, you should start building a statue to our Playpi (least technically correct, but definetly coolest sounding) Masters. ~
Look at the pure evil exuding in bubble form from his rump.
 What was the point of that as the intro? To explain that things you thought were weird to begin with only get weirder when you bother to read their Wikipedia page. Do professors still tout that one should not use Wikipedia as a source for their papers? And if so, has every student not already discovered that you can just use Wikipedia and then use the listed citations in your paper to circumvent the restriction? And is it just now that I finally came up with a topic to write about? Who knows...

Sourcing is important to any legit argument, you would, I hope, trust something you read in Time Magazine over something you found in The National Enquirer. With the advent of the internet people have flocked to Google for any question they needed an answer for and took whatever came up first as the truth. In most cases this works just fine, because in most cases people are looking for concrete answers such as "when did 2 1/2 men first air" (Sept 22nd 2003) or "where can I find the Kardashian sex tape" (you can Google that yourself pervert). But sometimes their is a larger gray area. It's when we get into these gray areas that we need to consider the sources of our information. So here are some things to considered in order to better tone your rhetoric muscle*.
Use Primary Sources...Primarily.
Their are reasons why journalists exist in society, so ugly people can have aspirations of fame that people like us can avoid trudging through lots of scientific words and get right to the point. 
actually if the journalists went away we wouldn't bother with all the trudging and would probably be a hell of a lot more productive...oh well
Their job however is not to be an expert on the topic they are writing, and in most cases you get a journalists assigned to a story that he/she knows less then an interested commoner, what this results in is flat out stupidity. But we can forgive the naive journalist, who we can't and shouldn't forgive are journalists with an agenda. 

(Initiate Rant)
Before we go on I would like to state that I actually support a BIASED media, for two reasons
  1. The only reason an "unbiased" media exists is because of advertising dollars, and has little or nothing to do with creating a balanced narrative. 
  2. The media is already biased, so not supporting its biasness is like not support the current monetary system, it already exists and nothing you can do will change it. 
Pretending the media is unbiased has got to the apex of annoying, everyone will happily admit that Fox News is right wing, but few will accuse CNN of being left leaning. In fact you can watch lots of videos arguing that the media is primarily right leaning, and then you can tell the whole world, and no one will care because you are a douche. But having a biased media is not bad, it leads to more variety in the news world and allows people to focus on what they care about. So I believe news agencies should strive to be more biased. But I don't believe they should negate facts or worse skew and misrepresent information.
(End Rant)
B! will appreciate this. As well as anyone who knows what ethics and photojournalism is.

This entire point stems from one example, a friend and I were discussing the issue of the gender wage gap, I cited Dr. Warren Farrell, if you looked at the link you see that this man might have some level on knowledge on the subject. My friend decided the best way to counter this was with an article from Time by Laura Fitzpatrick, who has a B.A. in English, Creative Non-Fiction (and no Wikipedia page). Now I am not saying that Ms. Fitzpatrick did not do extensive research and time (ha pun!) into her report, but I have to say that Dr. Farrell's expertise and knowledge out weighs anything that Ms. Fitzpatrick could bring to the table. So the next time you are arguing with a person be sure to use the best source you can find. 

Tigers have been known to murder souls with their eyes. But are usually found feasting on fermented fruit and enjoy the effects with skinny dipping and looking longingly at the star-scape (stmtz.com).
Cite Your Sources
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been reading through comments at the end of a news piece and people are spewing random facts left and right, but rarely do they link to a source or even mention where they got their information from. The worst part? If you do a quick Internet search you find out that these seemingly random unreasonable facts are based on legit information, often misunderstand and placed in irrelevant conversations, but still true information that people just don't cite. When my intentions are lazy and I decide that copy pasting information into the Google search bar is too difficult I just take any random un-cited fact and instantly consider it just the ramblings of an online lunatic.

I should probably end this piece with another fact on Platypi but I will instead just leave you with this image...
New life goal, see one of these in the wild. Australia here I come...no not right now, it was just a saying, yeah I know but...I don't really have the time or the money...I know I promise to visit but seriously you know how things get I will make time for you soon G' Day Mate.


STMTZ
*Using better sources and using more informed points to support your argument will likely have no effect on your combatant, they are a brainwashed moron whose most likely response to any logic sound supported argument will be to cover their ears and walk around in circles saying I can't hear you.

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