How reliable is "the net"

I often hear about how wonderful the internet is for school kids and all and I never really thought about it till last night.

I was in one of the alt.newsgroups. I think it was either Bangladesh or Pakistan, anyway they had a link to the history of the subcontinent and this author gave a really great and informative history of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

However he had one line. In 1971 Bangladesh parted ways and became independent of Pakistan.

That was it. He skipped over the entire war. He never again mentions how Bangladeshi (is that correct??) people still don’t like Pakistan.

This got me to thinking just how reliable do you think the internet is? I mean up until that point pretty much everything jived with everything else I’ve read on Bangladesh/Pakistan.

Well, the case you mentioned wasn’t any big deal; it wasn’t even incorrect. It just left out some of the details, but the author may have considered them to be outside the scope of the discussion. If he’s talking about Pakistani history, then it’s not even that misleading, since once Bangldesh got its independence, it was no longer part of Pakistani history.

How reliable is the Internet? Depends on the source. is pretty good; other sites are less so. Usenet is particularly difficult to determine, since you have no idea what axes are being ground. Best thing in that case is to look for independent confirmation; also, if someone’s full of garbage, a post will correct him.

As a general rule, never automatically trust anything on the Internet – unless I wrote it. :slight_smile:

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

I regard the 'net as a source of good leads. For the purposes of replying to questions here, I’ll point my fellow SDMBers at a site that seems to answer their question and assume that, as fellow net dwellers, they have an ambient caveat level appropriate to deal with any info I might point out. As you know, there is no peer review required to publish on the Internet. Nor is there in real life - there’s lots of garbage in print. You still have to evaluate your sources on your perceptions of their credibility.

Yesterday someone asked about the etymology of “jeep” (again}, so I pointed them at a site that had a reasonable sounding summation of what we know on that front. But I didn’t check any further - how much effort is that endeavor worth?

When it comes to me investigating brain surgery for myself, as with info garnered from the printed materials available, I’m going to investigate the sources.

I just looked into an answer for Ursa Major’s query this evening regarding the origin of the name of the Parisii (No, didn’t find an answer) and found a site that seemed to give a pretty good summation of the prehistory of the Celtic tribes. Nothing I read contradicted anything I know (and I’ll admit, on that subject you could run a pretty good snipe past me), but I did notice a few references to preventing the darkening of the race and the aryan contribution that, well, made me wonder a bit about my source.

How reliable is the net as compared to what? Just because something’s in a newspaper, magazine, bookstore, or library doesn’t stop it from being a crock of shit. As a researcher, one has the responsibility to make personal judgments as to the reputability of one’s sources.

Exactly, pal. Anybody can publish anything. The professional journals rely on peer review and that implies objective testing, but, really, you can say anything you want to on the 'net. And you can Slick Willie it up with hordes of bogus references with their alphabet soup references to degrees in AJC and DHM etc. I’ve got an ABCD in alphabet engineering.

Yes, you need to check as many informational vectors on the Net as you conveniently can, and resolve them, to your way of thinking, to the most reasonable conclusion. You’re apt to get more directions represented there than elsewhere, but a few may be more right than those in the most righteous elsewhere. As to history, I don’t think you can lose much with this approach on the Net. All historians, off the Net, really just tell it their way.

As for ‘jeep’, I understood it was simply = ‘GP’ = ‘general purpose (vehicle)’ – from living through WW II (not in the service).