While researching a future music-related article, I began to discover plenty of conflicting information. Are there reliable sources for reliable references on the Internet?
With so many Websites, many of which plagiarize each other, how do we know we are quoting or reading the truth? I find myself researching my research. To make things worse, with Photoshop and realted software, we can’t trust what we see, yet read.
Wikipedia is a Website which appears at the top of most search engines with nearly every reference search I seek. Wikipedia is designed to be a reference on nearly every subject. It is edited and maintained by the general public. Websites are dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of information such as Wikipedia-Watch.Org.
With the plethora of urban legends in your email inbox, and the nearly infinite amount of websites sporting erroneous information, who can we trust?
Let’s test your ability to spot a bad story… True or False
1. By proclamation of Governor George W. Bush, 10 June 2000 was ‘Jesus Day‘ in Texas.
2. Dr. Duncan MacDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts placed dying patients upon a scale in order to measure the weight of the human soul.
3. Lightning strikes a church during a sermon after the preacher identifies thunder as the voice of God.
4. Coloring the rims of CDs with a green marker improves their sound quality.
5. The Beatles hid “Paul is dead” clues in their albums and songs.
6. The Eagles’ “Hotel California” is about devil worship.
7. The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer.
8. Having survived a horrific storm, a slave trader promptly gave up his livelihood, became a Christian, and penned the hymn “Amazing Grace” in thanksgiving
9. The group KISS took their name from an acronym for ‘Knights in Satan’s Service.’
10. Michael Nesmith’s (of the Monkees) mother invented Liquid Paper correction fluid.
Here are the results…
1. True… A day which, challenges people to follow Christ’s example, by performing good works in their communities and neighborhoods.
2. True… The basis of the movie “21 Grams.”
3. True… A guest evangelist at a Baptist Church was preaching about penance and asking for a sign when the church’s steeple was hit by lightning, setting the church on fire and blowing out the sound system.
4. False… There is no valid scientific reason to explain why marking CDs with green pens would improve sound quality, nor has anyone ever been able to consistently distinguish between marked and unmarked discs.
5. False… All four Beatles have denied that they were involved in any way with the hoax.
6. False… In one interview, singer Don Henley stated it was about a loss of innocence.
7. True… David McLean died at age 73 of lung cancer who appeared in Marlboro ads in the early 60s.
8. False… “Amazing Grace” was penned by a former slave trader, but only many decades after he’d left slave trading and seafaring behind and had become a minister of God.
9. False… According to bassist Gene Simmons, the adoption of that name was surprisingly quick and mundane.
10. True… Liquid Paper was sold to the Gillette Corporation in 1979 for $47.5 million, plus a royalty on every bottle sold until the year 2000.
Although I offer links for your verification, my sources could produce skepticism nonetheless. Share your evidence to the contrary if you’d like.