Why does blatant misinformation persist?

Why does blatant misinformation persist in the face of so much evidence to the contrary? One big reason is money. Another is people's biases and desires. Combine those two, and the result is almost inevitable: it's often highly profitable to tell people things they want to hear ... no matter how untrue those things might … Continue reading Why does blatant misinformation persist?


This is how you unmask online hoaxers

A PandoDaily article by Jeremy Massler and Adam L. Penenberg provides a brilliant illustration of how online investigative journalism should work. In their March 26, 2014, article, "Busted! How we unmasked the man behind the Internet's cruelest celebrity death hoaxes," Massler and Penenberg describe how persistence and paintstaking research enabled them to identify the man … Continue reading This is how you unmask online hoaxers

Uncritically quoting sources who are wrong? That’s wrong

Journalist Steve Buttry has an excellent post on his blog about why journalists -- not sources -- are to blame when news stories prove to be inaccurate. Reporters, he writes, have an obligation to "find the truth and to verify the facts that appear important enough for us to publish" ... not to shrug off … Continue reading Uncritically quoting sources who are wrong? That’s wrong


Global warming has not ‘paused’

Global warming has not "paused." Despite regular reports in the press about how global warming has slowed down or stopped for years now, that is not the case. As researcher Kevin E. Trenberth and John T. Fasullo note in their Dec. 2013 article in the journal "Earth's Future," "An apparent hiatus in global warming?": "Global … Continue reading Global warming has not ‘paused’


How to improve your online research skills

I offer some tips for "Ensuring Good Online Research Skills" in a guest blog post at HowToLearn.com.


Look! A squirrel!

Here's a piece of advice if you're looking to improve your information-retention and critical-thinking skills: stop multitasking. A growing body of research is backing up what Nicholas Carr famously (or infamously) suggested in a 2008 Atlantic article ... that Google is making us stupid. Well, not so much Google itself, but the web's wonderful, infuriating, … Continue reading Look! A squirrel!


‘Recursive Fury’ sets off new furies and shocking retraction

As I've noted in my book, "Prove It! Fact-Finding Secrets of a Fanatical Online Researcher," climate change is a "controversial" subject not so much because of the science that supports it -- which is solid -- but because of its implications for society and the responses that will most likely be necessary. Scientists who research … Continue reading ‘Recursive Fury’ sets off new furies and shocking retraction