The Dangerous Inaccuracy of the Internet (and how to beat it)
It should be no secret by now that the internet is not necessarily your friend when it comes to finding accurate historical accounts of…well, anything. Because of its changeable nature, you can’t be sure that anything you read online is factual. (Yes, I totally get the irony of sharing this online.) But do you know all about the dangerous inaccuracy of the internet? Do you know how to beat it?
The dangerous inaccuracy…
Search anything historic on Google, and you’ll get what Google wants you to see. Notice the skin color and sex of the top personalitites on search results. (See my related post that started Knowlede Keepers.)
Have you ever tried to help your kids with their homework? Even websites devoted to history typically have a bias.
Wikipedia is literally changed as often as anyone decides there’s an error. It’s a user-created resource.
I discovered a couple of years ago that the official website for Plymouth Plantation (you know, the place where William Bradford and his fellow Pilgrims landed and built a colony?) has revised the info on their website to reflect culturally-acceptable “history.”
Visit a national park or museum and you’ll find this same thing happening in many places around America. And don’t get me started on statues and monuments…
So it seems that we are doomed to be fed ever-changing and biased “facts” no matter where we turn. Or, are we? May I remind you that the internet isn’t all there is, and we have a much older and better way to learn.
…and how to beat it
I know I talk about them all the time, but if 2021 has already taught us something important, it’s that we should depend on the internet LESS, not more.
You don’t need an internet search to learn all you want to know about the world. There are books for every question you have, and the best ones were written by the people who saw and lived history.
Why DID William Bradford and his band of Pilgrims leave Holland? Well, he wrote it down for you.
What made the American founders so bent out of shape about tea? They wrote reams of their thoughts, and summed them up nicely in many important documents.
How did Americans educate their children before the official public school system came to be?
What did Columbus actually see and do?
And friends, it isn’t just about America. There are important documents and books out there from many centuries and many countries that explain the beliefs and customs of all of our ancestors.
Let me say it again. BOOKS.
Let’s wean ourselves from the fickle world of Big Tech and start storing up true knowlede in the form of printed books. Scoot your DVD collection out of the way and put more books on your shelves. Rearrange your furniture for another bookcase. Start searching out the really important stuff, the kinds of books that the people who made history wanted us to have.
This has been my passion for years, but the new censorship of the internet in 2021 has shown us just how important it is to have access to information that no one chose for you.
Visit my bookstore for more about home libraries, books lists, used books for sale, and my new line of history reprints. And just for fun, tell me in the comments below what books you think would be important in a home library for posterity!