Sources of Information Considered

Think for a moment about typical sources of information you may encounter during a 24-hour day and the the limits of each:

  • First hand experience
    (Limits: Perception is sometimes flawed due to our preconceptions and filters. You can also only be in one place at a time and there are only so many hours in a day)
  • Memories, imagination, your thoughts
    (Limits: We all believe contradictory things and we remember things incorrectly due to the re-constructive nature of memory.)
  • Intuition, gut feelings
    (Limits: We can occasionally feel 100% certain and still be 100% wrong. If you doubt this, try blogging for a few decades and observe how some of your views change.)
  • Dreams
    (Limits: As far as science has been able to prove, dreams, do not access information beyond the memories and subconscious thoughts, but many people have experiences to the contrary.)
  • What others tell you in person
    (Limits: Others are wrong at times.)
  • What others tell you on the phone, via email and text messages
    (Limits: Others are wrong at times, plus there are limits to each of these methods, for example, a lack of facial expressions and accompanying body language.)
  • Physical things you read
    (Limits: Published books, magazines, papers, scientific papers, flyers, etc. can all be incorrect, but may be better researched than other sources.)
  • Television and Radio
    (Limits: Limited by interests and abilities of the stations, influenced by chasing ratings and other factors.)
  • Movies
    (Limits: Most movies available are neither factual nor educational. Movies are by nature, snapshots, not updated after being produced.)
  • Art and Music
    (Limits: Information quality depends on the knowledge and experience of the artist.)
  • What you learn on Social Media apps
    (Limits: Only as good as the sources publishing, a mixed bag from terrible to excellent.)
  • What you learn from web sites
    (Limits: Same as all of the above)

Less common sources which are used by some people:

  • Telepathy
    (Limits: Mind reading may be a natural skill, some say it’s bunk and has never been proven to work any better than imagination.)
  • Remote Viewing
    (Limits: Need a specific target and training. Some say it’s bunk, however, in the USA it was funded for years of research during the Cold War with the former Soviet Union.)

In the year 2022, visiting and skimming (few actually read) one or two sites is how most people check facts from other sources. How much information, though, is “out there” on the web? Quickly look at several web sites to find the spread of answers:

Let’s use 1.91 billion web sites. If you spent just 1 minute on each, the average dwell time, what percentage of all sites could you view, dedicating an hour a day for 50 years?

That would be 60 per day * 365 days a year * 50 years or 1,095,000 (one million ninety-five thousand) web sites you could skim. What percentage of the sites is that?

What % of X is Y?

Formula: % = (Y*100)/X

So we have (1,095,000 sites you viewed * 100)/1,910,000,000 total sites = 0.0573%.

That’s about 1 in every 1900 web sites that exists, which doesn’t sound too bad … but you’ve likely  realized that this is a terrible estimate for many reasons. A more realistic estimate might be

1) you would have to be interested, 2) you’d have to find these unique sites which might not have high search engine ratings, 3) it is more likely that you will spend more like an average of 5 minutes per day, if that, so you might see 91,250 web sites in 50 years if you set out to avoid sites you’ve already seen. You may view perhaps only 10,000 different web sites if you are like most people. That’s 0.0005% or about 1 of every 200,000 web sites that exists now. Of course, more sites are being added every day.

Looked at another way, if the population of the USA is 334 million, that’s like only ever talking to 1,169 different people in the USA over a span of 50 years. In other words, 0.0005% is a very small percentage, a narrow funnel.

All of which is to say, we have, each of us, typically a very limited perspective. Using this information wisely means trying, at least, to broaden our information sources on any given topic before giving up, before deciding that we have “the” answer. Good luck with that, however, because it runs contrary to human nature, but do what you can, nevertheless.


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