How do we know what to believe?

Fake News is in the—er—news at the moment, with Facebook and other outlets assuring everyone they’re going to clamp down on it. So how do we know what, or whom to believe?

I found a new blog recently called Neurologica—your daily fix of neuroscience, scepticism and critical thinking. The writer has a good post up at the moment : Skeptical Questions Everyone Should Ask. I found it really useful and a good follow-up to the FutureLearn course in logical and critical thinking I did recently.

“But there is no substitute for going through the process yourself. The process is also open-ended and is never done. This includes developing a basic scientific literacy and critical thinking skills.”

Unfortunately, like ‘common sense’, scientific literacy and critical thinking are not all that common.

Maybe it is better to believe nothing, apart from what you can see, hear, taste, smell and feel. For instance, I can ‘see’ flowers on my persimmon. I ‘believe’ I am going to be eating persimmons next winter. Yum :

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10 Responses to “How do we know what to believe?”

  1. Chris Says:

    I deliberately don’t follow the news. I will often find out something months after it has passed. It helps me stay grounded in the now, because too much information is actually counter productive.

    Critical thinking is about taking information, applying it and learning from it. Otherwise its just all theory and abstract. Glad to see you investing in some critical thinking too. Go persimmon!

    Like

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I gave up my subscription to the hard copy of the morning newspaper and took out a digital subscription. I’ve just cancelled that, too. I don’t miss it. I might even go back to having breakfast at the kitchen table again, instead of at my desk, in front of the computer. Now THAT would be something!

      There are dozens of flowers on the persimmon. I’m salivating already. 🙂

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      • Chris Says:

        Glad your persimmon is doing so well. I pruned mine back this year, and the extra growth is just coming in. I wonder if I’ve lost the opportunity to fruit this year, because of pruning?

        I pruned the tree, because it was getting spindly and wasn’t getting much fruit blossoms. Do you prune yours?

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        • foodnstuff Says:

          I haven’t pruned it yet, although it is getting spindly, but the flowers have all formed at the ends of the branch tips, so I assume that’s what they do. I want to take the top out of it because it’s getting too tall to reach the fruits to put individual covers on them because it’s too spindly and brittle to get a net over. I suppose I’ll try pruning after the fruit has finished next autumn. If I just do the top and leave the lower branches I may get some fruit the following year.

          They do seem to be spindly trees. I suppose I could keep pruning to make it more compact and lose fruit for a few years but I’ve waited so long for it to fruit, I’m just happy for what it gives me.

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  2. narf7 Says:

    I use Facebook but I was SO sick of the stupid news feed and advertisements that I used an add on called FB Purity that deleted them from my feed. There is so much garbage on Facebook and we are being led by the nose to get up in arms about posts that may, or may not be factual. Governments are feeding us what they want us to hear. If anything thinks otherwise, they are a numpty. Big corporations have been lying to us for years and it’s hard to find anything to believe in aside from nature and natural cycles. Here’s to persimmons in the new year. MUCH more reliable an indicator than trying to get something that makes sense out of the weather department. Seriously, why do we still pay them?!!!

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      I gave up on Facebook because it’s obvious they control what you see, likewise mainstream news. Anyway, even if it’s all fake, it’s just too depressing. As long as I keep getting healthy food from my garden, the rest of the world can go to hell!

      Liked by 1 person

      • narf7 Says:

        More and more people are abandoning Facebook. I have contemplated giving it up but I can keep in touch with my family and friends interstate via Facebook and using FB Purity cleared out most of the garbage (aside from the crap friends share of course…)

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        • foodnstuff Says:

          I tried to follow sites I was interested in mainly, but friends do share so much crap don’t they? 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • narf7 Says:

            Sometimes you wonder how on EARTH you are actually friends with someone who can share so much garbage! I have found some really good local community pages and some good international permaculture pages so I suck up the garbage that my friends post and if they post more garbage than content I “unfollow” their page so I stay friends with them but don’t see what they post. If I want to see it, I can go to their page and check it out.

            Liked by 1 person

          • foodnstuff Says:

            Good thinking!

            Like

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