Way back in 1992, a New York hip hop band called the Beastie Boys put out a song called “So What’cha Want?” I fell in love with it immediately as a 13-year-old boy. One of the song’s lyrics in particular has echoed in my mind since I first heard it:
“So where’d you get your information from, huh?”
It’s not an especially profound line, but it does speak to a deep part of our understanding of what knowledge is. We’re living in an age of information, where the answers to our questions are readily available. As consumers of information, we need to be just as deliberate (or more so!) in evaluating the value of content as we are when we consume food. There’s high nutrition information, and there’s junk news. It’s up to us to look at news with a critical eye and a skeptical mind, especially when there are so many looking to deceive others with misinformation.
When you hear a piece of dubious information from a friend, coworker or family member, don’t be afraid to ask them where they got their information from.
The more we question what we think we know, the farther we’ll progress as a society.