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   RE: [xml-dev] Aggregated content, fact checking, PICS, Atom/RSS (was Rig

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To consider sources, you are right.  I am aware of the disparity 
between US and European or Asia-Pacific coverage.  That is a 
benefit of the web: easy access to multiple sources.  What isn't 
provided is independent validation beyond one's own good judgment.

Consider the technology.  In the thread that kicked this off, the 
cited source was attempting to refer to the technology of aggregation 
as a source of fabrication.  In essence, aggregators can be fooled. 
Does anyone here dispute that?  (No, I didn't ask if there are 
conspiracies afoot, black helicopters, etc., just if the aggregators 
can be fooled?)

Of course they can.  NSS.  The general rule is don't put anything 
on the web you don't want to see on the front page of the New York Times 
and don't believe anything you read on the web until you have had 
it validated by multiple independent sources using multiple 
independent means.  Possibly true of the Times too given a bad 
day in the editor's chair but less likely.

At this time in the US, many states are considering legislation 
for the dataMegaMarts that use aggregators.  We know by observation 
such legislation is often flawed because it is passed without 
expert understanding of the technology.  While we may dispute other 
aspects of some topic, it is possible to provide expertise about 
the technology as it exists, as it is used, and as it is deployed.

Otherwise, policy prevails.  There are policies such as CFR 28 Part 23 
for systems used to gather information on individuals in the process 
of a criminal investigation that do govern the accuracy and conditions 
under which such information can be gathered.  Systems designed and 
provided to agencies charged with these activities must certify the 
compliance of their systems to this CFR.

What isn't determined is if information purchased by agencies from 
the dataMegaMarts is subject to the CFR.  Likely not.  Information 
from these systems cannot be mixed into the CFR-compliant systems. 
The fair assessment is that such CFR-compliant systems must be the 
gateways or clients of the non-compliant systems.  How to do this 
is the issue at hand.


From: Ronald Bourret [mailto:rpbourret@rpbourret.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 3:01 AM

1) If there are 8 billion Web pages, there is no way anyone can rate 
even a meaningful subset of them by hand. Google's voting system, while 
imperfect, strikes me as a pretty good way to do this automatically.

2) The problem with any system of "experts" is deciding who the experts 
are. Main-stream journalism may at least be fact-checked, but it's not 
clear the world will ever agree that those writing about a particular 
topic are indeed "experts" to anyone beside their peers. If you don't 
believe this, read US and European articles about the same topic and see 
if you think they're even covering the same event.

3) The Web is a like a great, big bar with a zillion drunken 
conversations. You'll meet some interesting people, discover some 
dubious facts, and have a good time, but anyone who trusts it implicitly 
is asking for trouble, and all the ratings in the world are never going 
to convince the black helicopter crowd [1] that the UN isn't really 
invading the US.


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