John Stuart Mill: On Learning Things

“The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intelligence to become wise in any other manner.”

From “On Liberty”

For generations growing up with constant connectivity, there are almost too many sources of information. With so many sources, how can a reader/listener know what is reliable? In truth, they can’t. The unfortunate fact is there is no single source of information that can truly be relied upon to be a fair arbiter of truth if for no other reason than those doing the writing are human beings.

So, read widely. Try to understand why those who view an issue differently do so. The brave don’t look for confirmation, but actively seek to challenge the strength of their assumptions. If they survive, they know they were correct. If they do not, they do not make the mistake of holding an ill-formed belief in the face of objective reality.