On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM, john g marr wrote:</snip>
Crowds using Critical Thinking (+ study of "Fallacy" and "Cognitive Bias") as a selection tool would be incredibly immune to manipulation.I know I've been told that "authority is dead", but I think it's a legitimate research question whether crowds limited to "academic" members would differ in book/page rankings from unlimited crowds. How do you ensure the crowd is using Critical Thinking?
This is a the main point. *IF* everybody thought "correctly" (whatever that means) a lot of problems would simply disappear in our world. But there is no chance for everyone to be trained to think in specific ways, and I don't know how popular this would be anyway. In fact, I don't even know if *I* like that idea so much. Certainly, bibliographic instruction and information literacy have not been that great of successes.
I still believe that the point brought up by Mr. Line that "that the term user education is, “meaningless, inaccurate, pretentious and patronising and that if only librarians would spend the time and effort to ensure that their libraries are more user friendly then they wouldn't have to spend so much time doing user education” holds some deep wisdom (as I discussed at more length in one of my podcasts) http://catalogingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/11/cataloging-matters-no.html
But returning to selection, I do believe that many people want materials selected for them by experts. They don't have the time to weigh and consider and research everything they read. That's what a lot of school and university is all about: you pay experts to make a selection of the "best" information and methods and they relate that information to you. Admittedly, this task is quite different from traditional library selection and would have to change in some fundamental ways since one difference would be to include many more "expert selectors" (however that would be defined) but certainly you would have to include recognized experts and scholars in the field.
Obviously, many details would have to be filled in, but I am convinced that something really useful could emerge and if that happened, the public would appreciate it and come to use the tools we make. Somehow and in some way, libraries need to make a splash!