Climate Change and the Mechanics of Skepticism: How Can we KNOW Better? (video)

To some, climate change is a simple scientific question to be answered with data while to others climate change is a misguided hoax that could cost our country jobs and hurt out economy. The question is why do some people end up on one side of this debate and others end up on the other? This talk by Librarian Troy Swanson will focus on climate change but also ask participants to think about how they make decisions about other charged topics. What processes are at work and how can we step in and make better decisions? This event is part of MVCC’s Earth Month Celebration. ?

Climate Change and the Mechanics of Skepticism: How Can we KNOW Better?

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Happy #FactCheckingDay !

April 1st is April Fools Day but April 2nd is Fact Checking Day!

This article by Poynter discusses the importance of recognizing fact checking, “Don’t be fooled: Third annual International Fact-Checking Day empowers citizens around the world to sort fact from fiction.”

You may want to check out EduCheck Map that lists all kinds of resources related to fact checking.

If you want to brush up on your digital information, watch this series on Navigating Digital Information:

 

“Knowing Keeps us Free:” Washington Post Super Bowl spot

There have been many complaints about the boring commercials during last night’s Super Bowl, but for many of us, one commercial stood out among the rest. This was the spot from the Washington Post (narrated by Tom Hanks) that highlights the importance of journalism in a free democracy. It included images of reporters who have been killed over the last few years including Jamal Khashoggi, who is alleged to have been killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last year.

Here’s an article about the images and people highlighted in the spot, “The Washington Post airs its first Super Bown spot.”

Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness
Because knowing empowers us. Knowing helps us decide. Knowing keeps us free. For more than 140 years The Washington Post has been a key part of democracy, holding government accountable and safeguarding the interests of readers.

The Bottomless Pinocchio, Misinformation, and the Fight for Truth

Since yesterday’s post about the War on Truth, a few more items have come our way.

First, the Washington Post’s fact-checkers have introduced a new category called “the Bottomless Pinocchio” for constantly repeated false claims. Take a look a the video below or visit this article,
“Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again”.

Second, the first episode of the (Mis)Informed Podcast has been released. This focuses on fact-checking political sources. You can listen at the player below or read more here, “(Mis)informed podcast: Who is fact-checking actually for?”

The Botomless Pinocchio:

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(Mis)Informed Podcast:

The War on Truth! Defending Free & Open Journalism

Librarians and journalists share many values. Namely, the belief that free and open information is vital to democracy and an open society. This week a few, year-end announcements from our colleagues in the world of journalism were made that should be highlighted.

First, Time magazine announced that their person (people) of the year is “the Guardians and the War on Truth.”
The video pasted below outlines those involved.

Second, PolitiFact announced their “Lie of the Year” which is the online smear machine trying to take down Parkland students.
Finally, PolitiFact also released “Trump’s 10 top falsehood of 2018” which offers an interesting perspective into our current political landscape.

Here’s the video from Time:

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night…and They are Selling It

You are being watched!!

The New York Times has a great interactive piece online today that details ways that your apps are tracking you and then selling your location data to advertisers. The level of detail is frightening. You can find the story here:  Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

You can learn more about the background to this story on the podcast “The Daily” here:

The Business of Selling Your Location
Smartphone apps track a staggering amount of data about our whereabouts every day. That data has become a hot commodity.
“A New York Times investigation has found that the information being collected about us through apps on our smartphones is far more extensive than most of us imagine — or are aware we have consented to.”

If you want to better control what your apps know about you check out: How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location. 

A New Form of News: Songs, Poems, Games, and More from the Post

This week the Washington Post Magazine released their alternative storytelling issue online. This is an interesting information literacy & journalistic endeavor trying to break the mold of the “6000 word story” by using music, games, mad libs, graphic novels, poetry and more to share news.

You can learn more about the goals of this issue here: The Washington Post Magazine Publishes an Alternative Storytelling Issue.

Here’s a link to a short videos about musician Ben Folds writing a song about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Ben Folds Writes a Song About Rod Rosenstein

MLA and APA Citation Information

Classes have started. You see on the syllabus that you will need to provide MLA or APA citations for an assignment or for a paper. Maybe that is new to you—or maybe you don’t remember the details from your high school classes. The library can help! You can stop by the library and talk to a librarian about citation. Or, go to the “Research Tools” page on the library website. Click “Citing Sources” in the middle of the Research Tools page (under Featured Services). The Citing Sources Guide has a variety of links and instructional videos that show citation examples for journal articles, web pages, books, and many other sources. As always, help is available from the librarians or from the Speaking and Writing Center.

“Insightful” Google Searches

Do you always accept the top Google results as factual? Are you sure? An old standby in the research world is now ready to give you some help. Encyclopaedia Britannica has a new Chrome extension, “Britannica Insights,” that adds information to the top right of the results page when you search for something. There are limits, of course. Britannica admits it works best for scientific or historical information.

Read more about it: Chicago Tribune, Wired, and The Verge