Thursday, January 11, 2007

This is just plain scary

I don't think I'll trust the Times again.
As the author points out, it's impossible that the authors of the article in the Times couldn't have known that they were writing falsehoods; that is, if they were doing any research into the subject at all.

How many more such articles are there out there? Mark Liberman at the Language Log points out that calling foul on news articles in the mainstream media is becoming more possible with the possibility for everyone to publish through blogs. And this is a good thing.

We've seen this before, of course. It's called peer review'. Philica even offers a very similar system of review to that of the blogosphere, with articles being published first and then reviewed. But there's a lot of drivel there, and who is going to have time to look through it all? Nature has recently given up on a test of open peer review for lack of uptake. I don't see academia moving over to this system any time soon. But as for popular reports, take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Or, in the case of the Times, empty the whole bag in.

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