Web research is crap

You know, the Internet is a wonderful thing. The World Wide Web is a spectacular thing. It’s a medium for the creative process that is available to many people far and wide. Diary sites like this one is a testament to that great fact. All of us on here can express our innermost thoughts, our most outrageous opinions, the fruits of our research on our favorite topic, and even our favorite cake recipe. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

The problem is, that’s also the greatest weakness of it all. The truth is, any slob can write something and throw it up on a webserver for the world to see. It doesn’t matter how ill-informed his opinion is, how disturbing his thoughts are, how uncritical his research is, or how disgusting his idea of the perfect cake tastes. Reasonably intelligent people figure this out quite quickly.

So why the hell is it that when a newbie wants to find out about Paganism and Wicca, the first thing they do is use this dubious resource as their primary — or worse, sole — source of information on the topic? Why is it they’re willing to accept whatever someone who learned how to submit a link to www.witchvox.com says without a second of critical thought? Oh wait, I know! Because Wicca and Paganism is comprised of “anything goes” philosophy. I say “Phooey!” And that’s being polite!

I’ll be honest. Half the crap out there is just that, crap. Half of the sites are put up by someone who read one or two books (and I’ll get into how crappy some of those books are some other time), decided they had it all figured out, and decided to share their “wisdom” with the world. Of course, half of them are really just sharing the “wisdom” some other author (book or web) already shared, often by copying their exact words. (We won’t go into the number of times I’ve found certain things online that were copied directly out of one of Scott Cunningham’s book without so much as a citation.)

I’m sorry, but if you’re too cheap to actually go out and buy a book on the religion you’re interested in (or here’s a crazy idea, see if you can borrow a copy through a library), you don’t have nearly enough dedication to follow it. Pick up a hobby instead, and start looking to explore your spirituality when you can put some real work into it.