One credible witness better than 1000 pathological liars

One credible witness better than 1000 pathological liars –

(an article from: really I just liked the title – many thanks!)


loud_mouth(picture from:

I am right, more right, the most right! And the louder I get the more right I amI am the r(l)…i(o)g(u)h(d)…t…e(s)s(s)…t(t!)!

We have all known this person. The incredible (pun intended) thing that strikes me, is that this person is listened to more often than not, and often credited with having great ideas (opinions). And, if I am being honest, there are times where I have modeled myself on this confident, forceful personality. But am I more right because I am louder than you? Is my opinion worth more simply because I demand the world listens?

Let’s be honest, no one really likes ‘that guy’, but I am using it as a metaphor for a wider concept of ‘credible information’. How do we decide what is important, or credible information. If you ask me, my Mum’s chocolate chip cookies are far superior to any other. And in all fairness, I could be regarded an ‘expert’ in my Mum’s baking, but what qualifies me to judge all other cookies ever made?

We have been asked to find some (any, it really doesn’t matter what), information about 3 subjects; data literacy, data modeling and virtualisation. This series will discuss the perceived credibility of the sources of this information. The sources are identified at the bottom of this post if you are dead keen to check them out. Broadly however, I have attempted to find a range of sources that reflect different opinions and motivations. For the sake of this posting, I am going to discuss ‘academic domains’, ‘social domains’ and ‘commercial domains’ that reflect sources from academia, media / personal publishing and commercial business respectively. For future reference, I will define these terms:

Commercial Domain – Information funded by, supportive of, and driving the best interests of the almighty dollar. In short, commercial spin tactics spawned by silver-tongued salesman and not worth the paper is is written on.

Social domain – perspective, personal experience, opinion and outright sensationalism! In realm of social sciences, social media and government policy.

Academic Domain – scientific process, rigorous testing, peer reviewed and totally credible. Quantifiable, and proven not to be false. ‘Proven to be not false’ – that is an interesting statement all of its own!

Is information from the Commercial Domain less credible than information from the Academic Domain? What makes Stanford, Princeton or Columbia more credible than NMIT (for arguments sake)? Is an Ivy league university more credible because it has prestige and a huge budget? Or does a huge budget make it more commercial and less credible? Is my Mother’s opinion less important that Dr. Joseph-Expert-In-Cookie-Baking?

These are ideas and questions that I will explore in the posts to come…

references for this series:

Data Literacy

  • Eshet, Y. (2004). Digital Literacy: A Conceptual Framework for Survival Skills in the Digital era. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 13(1), 93-106. Norfolk, VA: AACE.
  • Cornell University. Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet. (April 8, 2013)
  • Wikipedia:    Cornell ranked 16th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2012)
  • The Guardian (UK) on government education policy:

Data Modeling:

Data modeling in the sense of database modeling:

  • Conceptual, Logical and Physical Models:   Connolly, T.M, Begg C.E. Database Systems, A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation and Management. 5th Edition. Pearson Addison-Wesley. Boston USA. (2010)     (2005 edition cited more than 1400 times (google scholar))
  • microsoft

Data Modeling, in the sense of data simulation:

  • D. Lam, J. Jannink, D.C. Cox, and J. Widom. Modeling Location Management in Personal Communication Services. Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Universal Personal Communications, volume 2 pages 596-601, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 1996. Note: much of the material in this conference paper also appears in the journal paper Teletraffic Modeling for Personal Communications Services, cited above.
  • Su, X. C., Jergic, S., Ozawa, K., Burns, N. D., Dixon, N. E., & Otting, G. (2007). Measurement of dissociation constants of high-molecular weight protein–protein complexes by transferred 15N-relaxation. Journal of biomolecular NMR38(1), 65-72.



One thought on “One credible witness better than 1000 pathological liars

  1. Pingback: Blogger Award – Week 7 « Research Methods

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