Fact Checking Sites

There are excellent sites for fact-checking.

Politifact
Factcheck.org
Washington Post Fact Checker
Snopes
Truth Be Told
NPR Fact-Check
Lie Detector
Hoax-Slayer
Climate Feedback
SciCheck
Quote Investigator
Guardian Reality Check
BBC Reality Check
Full Fact

So long as you are willing to challenge your beliefs and are ready to admit when you are wrong, these sites are helpful.

You may want to know who funds the site, wrote the article, and if any other trustable site repeated the claim.

Individualism in Information Theory

An article published by Santa Fe Institute has a title that caught my eye entitled What is an individual? Information Theory may provide the answer [0], and it is well worth a read for systems geeks and info enthusiasts. If one is interested, they can check out the original document—The Information Theory of Individuality [1].

To be clear, this is a kitchen table type of conversation, but you can read the articles yourself and come to your conclusions. So we’ll play with one of the ideas, the individual.

For this post, the gist goes something like this…since time began, matter advances through space-time by a natural selection like process on all scales. For deep mind-blowing reasons, some things or even something becomes you.  

In this view, individuals, including you, are something of an aggregate, entirely as a process of information propagating from instant to instant and formed through space-time, whatever that may or may not be.  

Since we are processing the complexity of existence to propagate information forward can be taken to mean something like the separation from the environment that constitutes the self is a question of measurement.  

The fun info idea, in my view, is that what we call individuality is a measurement of the action of processing within and of a dynamic system of information formed by space-time.

Not bad for space dust.

[0] https://www.santafe.edu/news-center/news/what-individual-information-theory-may-provide-answer

[1] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12064-020-00313-7?wt_mc=Internal.Event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst

Reboot in a Pandemic

Restarting a blog during a pandemic seems to require mentioning the pandemic in an informational context.

From good information being misunderstood to various conspiracies, there is a substantial amount of good and bad information. Disinformation, mendacious information is also in play.

So what sites would an information enthusiast find credible?

Here are some quality resources.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

https://research.lib.buffalo.edu/coronavirus

https://hslguides.med.nyu.edu/2019Coronavirus

https://coronavirus.ovidds.com/

https://www.dynamed.com/condition/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

These sites pass the CRAAP test.

The CRAAP Test is a method of evaluation that guards against misinformation and it is applicable to staying informed during the pandemic. There is no need to get into specifics when Central Michigan University has done an excellent job explaining the test clearly. https://libguides.cmich.edu/web_research/craap

Some interesting displays of data dashboards have also popped up.

John Hopkins
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Google
https://trends.google.com/trends/story/US_cu_4Rjdh3ABAABMHM_en


Covid19info
https://covid19info.live/

Bing
https://www.bing.com/covid/local/unitedstates

Tableau
https://public.tableau.com/profile/jonas.nart#!/vizhome/COVID19_15844962693420/COVID19-TrendTracker

Worldometers
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-cases/#cases-growth-factor

Nextstrain
https://nextstrain.org/ncov/global

Studylib
https://studylib.net/coronavirus

Ourworldindata
https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#cases-of-covid-19

Seektable
http://covid-19.seektable.com/cube/1cec4837b67d47aea18cf8458d55be94

Robmellett
https://outbreak.robmellett.com/

Codelike
https://codelike.com/corona-dashboard/?countries=DE,CN,US,KR,IT&scale=logarithmic&xaxis=days-since

Datagraver
https://datagraver.com/case/tracking-the-worldwide-covid-19-pandemic
safegraph

Safegraph
https://www.safegraph.com/dashboard/covid19-commerce-patterns

Paradigminteractive
https://paradigminteractive.io/covid-19/

Covidwatch
https://covidwatch.world/?referrer=hackernews

Coronaviruswatch
http://coronaviruswatch.ircai.org/?country=All&dashboard=evolution

Now, which are the best in terms of CRAAP?

John Hopkins, Google and Bing.

I’m not suggesting the other site are untrustworthy, I use them and recommend checking them out.  John Hopkins and Bing are well established entities that have earned trust over time so I feel more confident in sending people their way.

And be humble, keep in mind that we are all misinformed on some subjects simply from the generation of new information Things change quickly and it is a good idea to confirm any information that is meaningful to you. Trust yourself but verify.

Edit: Added Google