Do Your Research


Straight off the top, I want it clear that, in the case of a scientific problem like a pandemic, I am in favour of following the experts. However, we have to be careful about worshipping at the feet of science. This is a dangerous attitude that we have inherited from an earlier era, before science screwed up the world by inventing man-made plagues, ways to extract oil from tar and shale, atomic bombs and the list goes on. Part of the cause of the anti-science movement is the “pat you on the head, please trust me” attitude of the scientific world. People don’t like to be patronized.

Do Your Research

The scientific community must be held responsible for the results, especially the social and moral ones, of their inventions. An informed public is the best way to do that, and people have to look for their information themselves. Google and Wikipedia are good for this. If someone is hand-feeding you information, they want something from you. FaceBook and TikTok are bad for this.


After all, about a hundred years ago there was a well-respected branch of science that enthused about improving the human race through selective breeding. To the scientists, it seemed a good idea. All sorts of fatal genetic flaws like sickle-cell anemia, Huntington’s Chorea and even colour blindness could be cured in a couple of generations simply by stopping the carriers of the genes from having children. Simple, yes?

Until, of course, they hit the point of who makes the decision as to which disease will be attacked. Fortunately for many of us, social consciousness was starting to take over the rulemaking process at that time, so we get to exist.

Who Needs a Lab?

There is a whole branch of statistical research that collects the data provided by the science labs and interprets it. And for the rest of us, it is up to us to educate ourselves to the best of our abilities in the facts and philosophies that influence the decisions that are made on our behalf. You don’t need a lab for that.

What Is Research?

There are two main elements to research: the finding of data and the interpretation of the data you found. It is essential to realize that these two elements come in that specific order. An unfortunate tendency skews the results of a lot of our research because we start with an idea and then go looking for data that supports it.

The Echo Chamber

This is how social media messes up the research process. The presenters of the information start out with the assumption that certain philosophies are true. They feed their clients data that proves it. The clients read the articles. Then the social media algorithms feed them more of the same.

Follow the Money

Let’s take an example everyone can understand. If you have a sum of money that you want to invest, how do you decide where to invest it? Do you go on your email account or your Facebook feed to see what people are offering? I hope not, because you know your money would end up in some scammer’s pocket. How many stories do we hear about people having their life savings stolen by someone who came to them through their church or social group, with a “special offer?” These people have made the same mistake. They went about the decision-making process backwards and put their social group first and their financial fortunes second.

Going back to my first sentence, I firmly believe that the only person I can trust with my investments is a government-licensed expert in a reputable financial institution. But that doesn’t excuse me from doing my research independently on any opportunity that person suggests.

Your Opinion: a Valuable Commodity

And it is the same with your beliefs. Investigation without the influence of social media is crucial. A recent Sun Wing flight to the Caribbean gave us a good hint as to the kind of people social media influencers are. Their objectives are their own egos, their own reputations, and their own financial well-being. Not yours. Don’t spend your credibility lavishly.


And once you’ve found some information, be wary of who influences how you interpret it. This is where a regular perusal of the news media helps. Readers of my blogs know that I am partial to the CBC, and the At Issue panel specifically. This is a group of knowledgeable journalists, well-reputed in their own fields. They are up-front about their political leanings, and they give interesting and sometimes original interpretation on the dealings of the government, the economy, and the population. I don’t like their program because they agree with me. I am most pleased with them when I come away with an idea I had not thought of.

They are the antithesis to CNN, where the objective of the material and delivery is to feed viewers what they want to hear so they will keep viewing.

The Bottom Line

So yes, please continue to do your research. Don’t be afraid to hold the scientists with their feet to the fire if you think they’re out of line. But make it because of something you looked up and thought of yourself, not an idea that was planted in your head by those with completely different objectives.


“A little learning is a dangerous thing.” Don’t be quick to form opinions. There is a spot where you think you know what you’re talking about, but you don’t know what you don’t know. I am not familiar with the Star Tribune, but what this article says sounds reasonable.






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