Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Becoming a More Critical Consumer of Information

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The fun and useful part of this article is the first third as the author introduces us to the term for a thing that Weakens Our Relationship to the Truth (WORT). "A wort is anything that deliberately tries to blur the line between what is true and what is not," writes Marcus Buckingham, and your life is filled with worts: "The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune all have sections of content which have been paid for by the writer." I encounter worts a lot in all kinds of publications as I do my research in EdTech. Now at this point it would have been a far more interesting and useful article had Buckingham looked at how worts erode trust in the publications where they appear, about the impact of fooling people by saying things like 'The Wall Street Journal says...' or 'a Harvard study says...' But instead it tails off into a general discussion on some critical thinking strategies, useful to a point, but far from satisfying overall. Of course, I suppose there's only so far Harvard Business Review could go in its discussion and exposure of worts before it runs the risk of being burned by its own coverage.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 10:15 a.m.

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