What makes me a skeptic?

So why do I label myself a skeptic with a k?

It comes from an understanding that in todays society of the internet and democratised knowledge, anyone seems able to make whatever claim they feel like without the inconvenience of proving whether it is actually true. It doesn’t take long browsing the internet to find individuals that claim to cure pretty much any disease, improve balance using magnets or even defuse roadside bombs using pure magic. (and the Iraqi government bought it! That has to be one of the most tragic occurrences of facepalm in all of history). Lets just say that I don’t expect any sort of scientific proof of concept for any of these to appear anytime soon.

As mentioned above we live in a world of democratised knowledge and by this I mean that we live in a society that appears to value personal opinion above verifiable fact. The validity of a viewpoint is more dependant on the number of people who hold that view than on any measure of plausibility or the weight of research and evidence behind that viewpoint.

In the last few years I have developed a lack of trust in the things people tell me. I’m sceptical about all sorts of things. Why do Accountants get paid more than teachers? Are they really worth more to society? Is someone earning £1m a year really a thousand times more useful than someone earnin £10,000? Does any one really know what the “economy” actually is???

In fact I get fairly sceptical about whether I’m actually too sceptical for my own good, which you must admit is pretty confused.

After more than a quarter of a century of confused, curiously untrusting existence I have decided to record the whimsical meanderings of my muddly, jumbly brain and try and make sense of it all. The aim for this blog is to bring order to the disorder and method to my madness.

Time for some actual content I guess…

For more info on how skeptics (with a k) define themselves try some of the following links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_skepticism

http://www.skeptic.org.uk/ – Home of the Skeptic, uk based magazine
http://www.littleatoms.com/ – Home of the Little Atoms Podcast – covering ideas of the enlightenment
http://www.skepdic.com/ – A page that tackles some of the more far-out claims made my Pseudoscientists, Paranormalists, Alt-med practitioners and junk-scientists