Crap detection by Howard Rheingold

Summary: Determine whether the particular stuff is worth our attention

I really, really, enjoyed this Video. But before I will tell about my feelings let me tell you about what the Video is all about. Internet is one of the major sources of the information today – you can’t claim it is not. And the Internet is a big place with lots of bad guys hanging behind one or another web link. How to tell, who’s good and who’s bad? How to determine whether information is right or wrong? It’s not easy, however, Howard Rheingold tries to address as many issues related to this topic as possible during ~1.5h discussion with Mark Brokering. He talks about how should we approach information we find in the Net. That our behavior in the Web should be always regarded as critical consumption.

Howard covers various topics related to the Web browsing, he tells us how should we perform searching, how should we determine authority of the speaker or writer, how should we comply with barely legal content, how should we protect children. What I like in his way of thinking is the way he approaches the subject. He doesn’t tell you to disconnect from all the information sources, and treat the Internet as source of evil. Yes, sure, you can find bad stuff there, but Howard, instead of escaping it, tries to discover and debunk false ideas, disclose who criminals wanting to teal your data via e-mail are.

I like the way he presents his knowledge. He doesn’t try to pretend that he knows everything, and knows the answers for all the questions that may rise. Instead, he tries to find a sensible way of showing others how to deal with Internet. He tell parents and teachers how to discuss this topic with children – this is quite important nowadays. What I really enjoyed was that Howard sounds very reasonable and you can tell he has experience in subject – he is dealing with all this stuff since ’80s.

I definitely recommend this Video material. I know that price is high. I know that regular folks will calculate and probably say: “well I’d better go to the movies instead”. But, on the other hand, it’s worth to get knowledge about how to find that something is crap because we spend more and more time on the Internet.

O’Reilly: Crap Detection 101: How to Distinguish Good and Bad Information Online
Safari Books Online: Crap detection

Side note: for all non US readers wondering what does “101” mean. I have found solution for this riddle in other O’Reilly’s book – “Confessions of a Public Speaker”. 101 stands for introductory course at college.