Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Business, Media, Music, Philosophy, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Most Religions, Cultures, and Belief Systems have incorporated into their respective routines and rituals a daily affirmation or recitation of core philosophical truths, a practice meant to condense and convey an entire ideology into a short, easily digestible, reminder of who we are and what we believe. Religious or not (I, for the record, do not adhere to, or believe in, any organized religion), the following axioms may simultaneously serve to enlighten and appear as mere common sense. Either way, for those of us in the media business, as traffickers of information, we have an obligation to scrutinize and skepticize the data on which we stumble upon. Whether it be a CNN Article, A Blog Post, A Tweet, or ‘Latest Medical Breakthrough in Weight Loss Technology.’

We, as Human beings,  have a unique passion for information. We crave it. Our Curiosity as a species defines us. Our resulting understanding of the world and its mechanisms is the foundation upon which our modern lifestyle delicately balances. As such, we are predisposed and evolutionary motivated to seek out new and useful knowledge – But we have a responsibility to question every quanta of novel date and sensory stimulus we encounter so that we don’t act on or propagate falsehoods.

Courtesy of Buddha,

  1. When In Doubt, Trust Yourself.
  2. Do Not Believe In Something Simply Because You Have Heard It.
  3. Do Not Believe In Something Simply Because It Is Found In Your Religious Texts.
  4. Do Not Believe In Something Merely On The Authority Of Your Teachers And Elders.
  5. Do Not Believe In Traditions Because They Have Been Handed Down For Many Generations.
  6. But When You Find Something That Agrees With Reason & Is Conducive To The Good & Benefit Of One & All, Then Accept It & Live Up To It.

Alternatively, You May Better Relate To Jack Johnson‘s It’s All Understood:

I was reading a book
Or maybe it was a magazine
Suggestions on where to place faith
Suggestions on what to believe
But I read somewhere
That you’ve got to beware
You can’t believe anything you read
But the good Book is good
And that’s well understood
So don’t even question
If you know what I mean

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. This is so true! I’m so glad you said it!

    You know how there are those concepts that you bring up in your work and arguments time and again? One of my favorites is the Marketplace of Ideas, and this is exactly why I love it.

    Social media gives us a unique ability to better understand truths in part because of the presence of faulty and misleading information. There is a place for bad information because it helps us to better evaluate and figure out what the “real truth” is.

  2. sherri haymond says:


    Great point – especially with how quickly information flows today via Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook and other SM outlets – sometimes people retweet news (or opinions that masquerade as news) without even reading what it is they’re retweeting (this is especially clear when the link that’s RT’d doesn’t even work). With this new faced-paced information-sharing world, which includes citizen journalism, it is incumbent upon each of us to do even more homework. To fact-check things we read and differentiate fact from fiction from opinion from plain old junk. I think the advice you quote from Buddha says it all.

    Thanks for another great post!
    Sherri (@missmotorcade @WY20)

  3. rockwell says:

    I genuinely enjoyed reading this post.Thank you.

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