Any good ways to find information other than google

Author: Trent0405 ,

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  • Trent0405
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    Trent0405
    Plz help, finding data takes up about an hour for my 2000 character Debates.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Trent0405
    If you want to see lets say information about medicare polling.

    Search medicare polling.
    Try to find the most reliable site.
    Use that.

    You can use Google Scholar but someone else I am sure would know how to use it better. 

  • Trent0405
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Thanks, just checked out "google scholar" and it seemed to filter out a lot of unrelated, useless, garbage you find on Google.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Trent0405
    Thanks, just checked out "google scholar" and it seemed to filter out a lot of unrelated, useless, garbage you find on Google.
    Make sure you know which one is the most reliable. I wouldn't know personally how to do this so ask others. I would ask first Virtuoso because I see him  use citations which often leads to people using Google Scholar. If that doesn't work simply ask blamonkey, Ramshutu. Ragnar or some other people on the top 5 of the debating leaderboards to be more informed on the topic. 

  • Snoopy
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    --> @Trent0405
    Its good to go to the library or a take a class to gain some sort of basic foundation for a variety of reasons.  Once you get over the learning curve of the task at hand and gain a baseline of applicable knowledge, you'll be able to utilize a search engine more meaningfully to obtain open source information in the future.  Hopefully you're prepared to conduct critical analysis of data you find from an unfamiliar source.  The library can introduce you to information in a different way than a search engine would, and expose you to coherent information you weren't setting out to find initially, without being steered so heavily by your notions, algorithms, and marketing.  Make a system of organization to efficiently refer back to should you have new questions in the future. 

    If you are interested in American politics, I would highly suggest reading the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, all of which are rather concise documents.  Secondly, you should gain some familiarity with documentation known as the federalist papers, which contain some of the prevailing views in how the implementations that effect us today were designed to render service by the people, for the people.  It is still largely relevant, although additionally the Civil War lead to an enabled effort which is the basic structure we have today, where portions of the national Constitution are held applicable to the States, and the period between the WWI and the end of WWII had a revolutionary impact on the economic relationship of contemporary politics.

    Being inexperienced, you might adjust your mindset a bit from "data that will help my side" to entering into a debate you are interested in learning and presenting a quality argument worthy of everyone's time in an improved capacity, which may or may not ultimately stand up to scrutiny in its entirety, with the goal of a better understanding than the parties have going in.  A good debate can have a bit of give and take to the end of a common good.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Snoopy
    Library has less information and is less accessible.

    A class would be good. A specific one in mind would help Trent if you know it.

    American politics is well something. It is best to see documents like what you said by yourself then see people applying it. If you like how the right are applying then be on their side. If you like how the left are applying it then be on their side.

    A good debate wouldn't necessarily mean it will occur.

  • Snoopy
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Hopefully I'm not conveying that locally exposing yourself to a library and socializing with people is superior so much as pointing it out.  I'm just trying to give some helpful advice to the approach of acquiring data from an ignorant starting point.  The total amount of raw information in a facility is of little consequence to personal aspiration, so long as there is sufficient amount of relevant information.


  • oromagi
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    --> @Trent0405
    I think Wikipedia is the greatest thing the internet has ever produced.  I always begin with Wikipedia for the most ordinary understanding.  The discussion pages are often a great source of likely arguments. The sources often give you a sense of what books and people influence our ordinary understanding.  I usually read Encyclopedia Brittanica to make sure Wikipedia hasn’t gone rogue. Then I start hunting for data that supports my case and/or my opponents case. 

    For the military/geopolitical debates you enjoy, the CIA factbook and the UN are great.  Jane’s is an excellent source for all kinds of military data. 

    But it none of that will save you much time. The more hours of research you put in, the more confidently you can express your opinion. Don’t take your opponents sources for granted- using your opponents sources against them is a great debate tactic that online debates get to exploit far more than live debates. If you spend way more time reading than writing, if you resent the hours lost to double checking ridiculous lies then you are probably doing it right. 

  • RationalMadman
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    The answer is no. Google is the best way to search for information. Everyone here is explaining how to use Google better. Wikipedia is usually the first result on any search where Wikipedia is relevant so Oromagi's point is again not entirely correct but it's true you can search inside the Wikipedia site for information.
  • RationalMadman
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    Do not be confused by my previous answer. Google is completely Illuminati-friendly and will strategize results to serve an agenda, often tailored to biases it notices you have but always to support a certain agenda especially if you search flat-earth things despite your search history strongly implying that you're pro-flat-earth and it does this in other ways too that I won't mention for my own privacy,

    The problem is that the ones that don't strategize (such as DuckDuckGo) give you severely generic results and far less sites apply to be displayed on that search engine.
  • blamonkey
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    I don't know if you have access to a school library, but they typically have pretty good resources for current events and policy. Google Scholar is good, but a lot of information is locked behind paywalls. Some think-tanks (i.e. Council of Foreign Relations, Brooking Institute, RAND Corporation, Peterson Institute for International Economics, etc.) offers biased, but usually factual information. Make use of fact-checkers to verify sketchy claims. BBC, the Wall Street Journal, AP, and Reuters offers good info. Also, there is a newsletter called "The Skimm" which e-mails users regularly and updates them on current events. That helps a lot.

    Some reputable sources with a scholarly or government "edge" to make you sound smart include the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Wharton Public Policy School at UPenn, and any Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office, or Congressional Research Service Report. These sources provide enough information to turn a casual debater into a veritable expert over the vcourse of 1-2 reports on a subject. 

    There are some ways to modify Google so that only the websites you want pop up in the search results. 

    For example:
    http://factualsearch.news/

    I don't know how good this particular "filtered search engine" is, but it is an example. 

  • blamonkey
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    I should mention that there is obviously a hierarchy in think-tanks as far as quality is concerned. They represent the interests of the people making it rain on their researchers, CEOs, and lobbyists. A few examples of think-tanks with spotty fact-checking records include the Center for Immigration Studies and the Foreign Policy Journal. Be wary. 
  • keithprosser
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    --> @blamonkey
    Have you considered making stuff up?  It's only 'cutting out the middle-man'.
  • Dr.Franklin
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    how do you find good sources
  • Wylted
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    There are studies that conclude that the bullshit metrics people use to determine reliability is false. Think tank studies from both sides of the aisle as well as studies funded by private organizations are both usually reliable. When you advise somebody to find reliable sources you probably mean ones not funded by private companies or that are not attached to think tanks but it is bullshit. Look at methodology, sample size and other studies that are looking for the same thing to see if the results line up. I'm not saying there are unreliable experiments and studies, there are. The Stanford prison experiment is one where the results were determined before the test took place,  but usually researchers are honest. Don't advise somebody to find "reliable" sources please as it is just a subconscious way you falling into cognitive bias and fallacies in reasoning, particularly confirmation bias (sources you agree with tend to be put in the reliable camp) and the genetic fallacy which really is just an offshoot of confirmation biased approaches to information gathering anyway. 
  • TheRealNihilist
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    There are studies that conclude that the bullshit metrics people use to determine reliability is false. Think tank studies from both sides of the aisle as well as studies funded by private organizations are both usually reliable.
    How does getting information from both sides and it being funded by private organization reduce "bullshit metrics"?
    Look at methodology, sample size and other studies that are looking for the same thing to see if the results line up.
    I do that already.
    Don't advise somebody to find "reliable" sources please as it is just a subconscious way you falling into cognitive bias and fallacies in reasoning
    People already do that. Me saying reliable doesn't have more of an impact than what the person is accustomed too. If you have data that using the word reliable is the leading cause of people going back to their biases and fallacies, I would like to see it. 
    particularly confirmation bias (sources you agree with tend to be put in the reliable camp) and the genetic fallacy which really is just an offshoot of confirmation biased approaches to information gathering anyway. 
    Okay? I tend to use sources which are not opinion pieces and go directly to the source they are referencing. I don't use sources which don't even tell me where they had X number, quote since I can't verify if it is true or not. 
  • Tejretics
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    --> @Trent0405
    First, try Wikipedia. It’s highly underrated and not nearly as unreliable as you might think. But specifically, use Wikipedia as a device for exploring further—go down to the reference list and start reading the things there. 

    Second, use Google Scholar. 

    Those are basically my two main research tools for DART/DDO debates. 

39 days later

  • crossed
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    i use duck duck go and firefox. duck duck go is a google alternative. Tor works to
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @crossed
    True, but his question really was about search engines not being the means. DDG is definitely the superior option to Bing and Yahoo search but Google has reasons why giving up privacy can be useful. They organise links by relevance and reliability all at once so that will help him more than DDG for scholarly debates.