Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My First Post

This is my first post to the blog, so I should probably say a little about why it was created. I decided to start this not long after I started my company, Beau Woods, LLC, in order to give out some advice on whatever I seem to be thinking about at the time. The intent is to give out some good advice for people who don't have the time to spend 10-12 hours a day thinking about keeping themselves safe online -- which is most people I know. But that's the great thing about the internet, you can usually find a lifetime's worth of knowledge and experience boiled down to a quick 15 minute read.

Think about how much research has been done that culminates decades of work into one paper. These things are published by scholarly reviews all over the world, with thorough documentation, careful analyses of all results, caveats about the conclusions, and showing the blood, sweat, and tears shed over the lifetime of the research. And on the internet, somebody will post a really quick bullet point that disregards all of the attention to detail and caveats about drawing erroneous conclusions. The summary is published in a thousand other blogs and sometimes in print, each reprinting adding credibility to a post by someone who may only have skimmed the first page of the original research paper.

I guess my point (and my first tip) is this: don't believe everything you hear or read. Whether it's on the Internets, in print, or first-hand from somebody who swears it is the truth. You learned critical thinking skills in school, right? If not, you should look into that. Often times you can pull apart a claim or argument with simple logic and a little bit of skepticism. I'm not saying you should go around calling people liars if you don't believe them, it's just that sometimes things are not what they seem.

So go forth, be truthful, and analyze.

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