Thursday, December 8, 2011

Website: Facebook

Really, do I even need to explain what Facebook is?

I will not be linking to my personal profile, per the stuff in my introductory post about privacy and the Internet. I mention Facebook here because I do have some friends on Facebook who are very politically involved and will post links to interesting news stories or op-ed pieces, as well as statuses and comments supporting one point of view or another.

The former, of course, I can comment on like I'll be commenting on any other news story, with perhaps a brief note that someone mentioned this on Facebook.

The latter are more problematic. While blogs generally are regarded as posting things for the entire world to see, the general perception seems to be that Facebook is supposed to be more private. Therefore, in the event that I decide to comment on a Facebook post of any type, I will not be mentioning the name of the original commenter, even if the original post was marked public, and I ask that anyone commenting on this blog do the same, in the (probably unlikely) chance that you know the original commenter.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Website: Conservapedia

The only reason I'm mentioning Conservapedia at all is because it got mentioned in my RationalWiki post.

This site was originally created to counter perceived liberal bias in Wikipedia. The apparent method is to create a wiki so overwhelmed with conservative bias that no liberal influence is even possible.

I will not be using Conservapedia at all, barring exceptional circumstances. I'm not sure I could do much more than point and laugh at the obvious logical errors and blatant hypocrisy, which doesn't feel particularly useful. If you really want to know more about Conservapedia, I recommend looking at the relevant pages on RationalWiki.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Website: RationalWiki

If I were to check my browser history, RationalWiki would probably be sitting somewhere near the top in terms of number of visits over the past few months.

RationalWiki was originally formed as a counter to Conservapedia, a heavily right-wing version of Wikipedia. Since then, its mission has expanded to supporting rational thought and the scientific method against pseudoscience and in some cases religion. It is superficially similar to Wikipedia, as is any website based on the MediaWiki engine; however, RationalWiki mostly focuses on topics of interest to scientists and skeptics. It also abandons any attempt to write from a neutral point of view and often will be very sarcastic towards ideas which the editors regard as foolish. One of its other unique features is the set of "WIGO" (What Is Going On?) pages; these list recent happenings in Conservapedia, the mainstream news media, and various blogs the editors monitor.

I regard it as an extraordinarily useful and generally trusted resource, particularly with regards to researching sources and whether I can trust them to at least try to be unbiased. The WIGO pages in particular are a good place to find new and interesting blog posts and news stories. Politically, I would say there is a general left-wing slant, although RationalWiki's mission, like my own standards, is accepting of any point of view that can defend itself with a proper argument.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another delay - and, the real purpose here...

Sorry for the second delay since I've started this blog. I got distracted with another project (anyone heard of NaNoWriMo?) and didn't really have time. (Better yet, I kind of failed at that project too. Maybe next year.)

But, I'll make up for it by actually starting the posts which this blog was created for - analyzing other people's arguments... well, they're coming shortly. I've got a couple things I might be able to talk about - mostly Facebook posts at this point, but I'm working on finding more.