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View Poll Results: Belieive content of books?

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  • Believe books without checking any evidence (non fiction)

    0 0%
  • Have some scepticism over books (non fiction)

    22 68.75%
  • Really sceptic so need evidence that the book is not just conceptual (non fiction)

    10 31.25%
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Thread: Beliefs

  1. #11
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    I'm less inclined to believe books at face value. I think a healthy dose of scepticism is necessary, because the main criteria that non-fiction books have to meet is 'will this book sell well?' There is generally no peer review of books, authors can write whatever they want, no matter how weird or wacky their ideas are.

    My approach is somewhat like CzeCze's. If I'm interested in a topic, I'll read a bunch of different books, read online etc. I've got a reasonably good gut feel for knowing how trustworthy a particular source is (based on things such as, what do I already know about the topic, does it make sense if I compare it to everything else I already know, who is the author and what is their background etc etc).
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  2. #12
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucrativeSid View Post
    I don't really "believe" anything completely. I just assess whether it's worth putting in the "most likely I've got so far" category in my head or not. Some things go there easily. Other things don't even come to close because I don't think they make sense. Other things, if I deem them important enough, are researched thoroughly. So for me, it's either good enough and likely enough to give merit to, or it's not. Plain and simple. Information is harmless. Information leads to ideas. Ideas lead to action. Action is what matters.
    I relate to all of what you said, but with the last bit, that's exactly why information can be anything but harmless, simply because so many people do not check sources or verify facts. See the thread in the SJ forum where IxTJ's openly say that they just want to have things decided and don't want to go on a long winded tour of the facts and evidence etc, just get to the point - such people I'd say were quite vulnerable to taking bad actions based on bad ideas based on bad information. I know TJ's who will only ever go as far in checking out a source as checking the credentials of the person who gave it, so as long as the author has a degree, he's believed, no matter what twisted motives he might have.

    And considering that TJ's probably constitute the biggest slice of the pie when you get to people making the big decisions that affect the world... well... it's worrying.
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  3. #13
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    If it's reading for my own interest, I almost never check facts; I sort of hold it in suspension in my head that this is what was explained in the book, but even the best can err.

    If it's my own scholarly interests, I check facts for anything crucial.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I relate to all of what you said, but with the last bit, that's exactly why information can be anything but harmless, simply because so many people do not check sources or verify facts. See the thread in the SJ forum where IxTJ's openly say that they just want to have things decided and don't want to go on a long winded tour of the facts and evidence etc, just get to the point - such people I'd say were quite vulnerable to taking bad actions based on bad ideas based on bad information. I know TJ's who will only ever go as far in checking out a source as checking the credentials of the person who gave it, so as long as the author has a degree, he's believed, no matter what twisted motives he might have.

    And considering that TJ's probably constitute the biggest slice of the pie when you get to people making the big decisions that affect the world... well... it's worrying.
    If people are making big decisions based on shaky information, they sound like the kind of people who will have a bad effect on the world no matter what.

    But normally, it's not that big of a deal. If you make an assumption to save time, you'll either figure out you're wrong later, or you can double check that information when the time comes to actually use that information.

    The information is still harmless, though. Just like guns. Someone has to load them and pull the trigger. But that doesn't mean we should give guns to prisoners and hope for the best, haha. We should still be diligent and safe.

  5. #15
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    yeah I get what you mean. it's the big question though isn't it? should guns be restricted to prevent the pragmatic and very real danger of idiots misusing them? should information be verified and attested before publication to avoid the very real danger of idiots using it to take bad actions that affect other people - people who are too proud to admit when they're wrong and will plough themselves and others with them into the dirt before changing course? such people are not in short supply.

    maybe it should just be redefined. information that can't be verified as true could be relabelled as fiction, opinion or interpretation.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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  6. #16
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    The only things I am inclined to believe are things that can be proven in a technical manner. The rest are seen as either useful or not. I don't have to believe something is 100% accurate in order to be able to use it.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Wild horses's Avatar
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    To be honest I don't always read books for research or facts, (Both of these have their own limitaions also) I read books to understand and gain knowledge on theories. I like to contemplate the ideas which the author is putting forward and I suppose the only real evidence that actually matters to you is how these theories and ideas play out in your own life. For eaxmple, ancedotal evidence, whilst it holds very little weight statistically it can be life changing to you personally.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member chasingAJ's Avatar
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    I believe that first-person narratives of events are what that person perceived of the events and take them as a qualitative view of the situation. I believe that you have to engage in the argument with books so I tend to write in the margins and yell at the author. If authors use science terms to mean their common connotation instead of the literal meaning, I typically see them as ignorant and question their argument. I use google frequently to see where similar arguments "pop up." If they are mostly on blogs and personal websites I will search JSTOR or some other scholarly database to see what supports it. If they're mostly on .org websites that are not dedicated specifically to that cause, I will generally accept the information.

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