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Back on May 29, 2015, I posted How can we identify actionable information?

The chart discussed there is republished here below It was posted ten years ago on December 03, 2007 as, A scale for measuring the trustworthiness of information.

The Trustworthiness of Information chart can help us get started in our gathering of accurate information. With better information, it becomes possible to take better actions and to restrain improper actions. The chart guides us to identify what would be the best operative information for choosing our actions. So often people think of truth as a black and white problem. Either a statement is absolutely true or absolutely false, but this chart gives us more options based on the reliability of the sources of information.

Trustworthiness of Information

Trustworthiness of Information. Click to make bigger, and hit + for even bigger.

The chart above introduces the idea that there are degrees of trustworthiness of statements that we may encounter. It identifies easy ways to put a measure upon how likely a given statement is to be true. For example, the ideal truth is one where groups of cross-purposed, accountable viewers observe the same ongoing events and agree on some observed thing. That requires presently viewable processes which can be easily challenged at every moment by the accountable well-informed people outside of the ongoing observed process. The observers are able to confirm, verify, irrefutably demonstrate, and prove unmistakably with multiple proofs from multiple points of view the truth of their statements. Furthermore, there are always ways to create more complete clarity which itself always leaves material open to further questioning and verifying.

Untrustworthy information has the following easily observed qualities: It usually has promises of fabulous rewards couched in fine rhetoric. But it also has unverifiable sources of data with clear problems in the historical record of the source of the information and with possible translation spins as it is communicated from one person to another. The concepts of hoax, fraud, con, treachery, treason, swindle, trap, speciousness, spuriousness, glorified, and sophistry are easily applied to the statements claimed to be of uncontestable truths.

Unfortunately, in the political processes now available on the internet, there were people putting totally fabricated stories into the information stream, and many of these were accepted as truth. They were interesting stories and went viral because of their stimulating qualities. It has been reported that real news was totally swamped by these fabricated items. Several of the fabricators have been interviewed at length by the media, and they claimed that they were doing a service for the public by demonstrating how easy it was to manipulate our electoral processes. They succeeded and now we will be forced to live with the consequences of having leadership that is not as competent as it might have been had the public based their decisions on more accurate information.

We must do our best to guide our new leadership onto healthy paths.