View Full Version : How to discern feedback from bovine excrament

03-02-2017, 02:02 AM
Tonight I ran into what I imagine is a 12yo girlscout who was crying about how gearscores are unfair. He had a score of 12 and even though my entire team was rep 1 or so a great crime was apparently commited. I advised him to take to the forums where this wonderful fellow made videos to test the values of each gearscore. He then replied that he did consult the forums and that everyone agreed that gear was OP and so he stuck to that like a toddler to his mother.

Me being a history teacher who values the integrity of sources this prompted me to share with you a skill that is often forgotten in our present time. I am talking about what is known in the common tongue as fact checking or source awareness.

Let's say that you are presented with a piece of information (through facebook, wikipedia or whatever). A step often forgotten is how believable or trustworthy this information actually is. But fear not, there is a way for you to discern fact from bullcrap!

If we break down the process we are left with a few simple steps.

1: Who is the author?
A raging kid who posts his entire post in capslock will obviously be less trustworthy than the man who supplies his reply with a clear description of how he came to that exact conclusion, making his mental steps transparant. Then, we look at the person who delivered this information and discern if this person knows what he is talking about. Check his other posts and make your conclusion based on the entirety of information offered. Stability is ofcourse key here.

2: Content
The first step in validating the integrety of the content would be to determine what the author really wanted to say. What is the message behind the post? And more importantly, did he mainly state opinions or actual facts? The latter can be checked by viewing the sources (let's again point out our friend Ikatsu as a great example for offering factual sources) or by asking what sources he used.
The next step is to check if the information covers one or multible views on a situation. Multible would mean the author was probably trying to be as objective as possible where a crying girlscout is a textbook example of offering but one view on the situation, usually lacking further context and often wrong.

3: Time
Another great way of determining the correctness of information would be time. When was the post written and what happened since then? The "GB is so OP and so hard to counter" loses much of it's credibility after the patch was released. So the time in which the information was placed is also an important factor.

4: Design
The author tried to relay a message. The way in which he did so often tells us how important he found his message. Let's say the post was written in caps, lacking any common grammar. The author was most likely eager to share his views on the subject but so enraged that he did'n't bother to doublecheck his post. This tells us that the post was more of a "heat of the moment"kind of thing than an actual attempt to change people's view on a certain subject.

There, now you can properly tell fact from whining and even apply this to everyday life.
I imagine that some of you must be thinking: But most of the criteria aren't mentioned on the news or even the messages of the president of the USA. Well, you are right, it is not. Most information that is presented to you nowadays lack the means to properly check it's integrity. What I described earlier is what the history people use to get their facts straight and determine what sources to use when forming an informed conclusion.

To leave on a political note, ask yourself if it's ok that you take everything that appears on your facebook wall as truth. And ask yourself this the next time you read a post that cries for nerfs: Does he have an actual and well argumented point or does this chump simply need to Git Gud?