The Signal and the Noise
In times of crisis, reliable information can be worth its weight in gold. In a sea of voices screaming for attention, how does one go about finding reliable information? Part of my work involves the acquisition of information. Having analyzed a lot of it over the years, I’ve learned that all sources are not equal in quality or in the quantity of information they provide. Some sources are more reliable than others. I rely on certain sources for certain types of information.
If I’m looking for information that accurately forecasts the future, I tend to look for sources that provide spiritual intelligence. For prophetic information, the Spirit of God is the most reliable source there is. He inspired the prophets to write the scriptures that correctly predicted events thousands of years in advance. I receive information from the Holy Spirit, but what I receive is sporadic, and often, it’s presented symbolically. Sometimes I don’t receive revelation on the subject I want. Other times I do, but the precise meaning of a message isn’t always clear. Thus, I combine spiritual intelligence with the information I receive from other sources.
During a crisis, the number of sources providing information to the public rises. Suddenly, sources you’ve never heard of are trying to explain to you the real story behind the crisis and where society is headed. During the current coronavirus crisis, so many unreliable sources of information appeared on social media that government officials asked people to be careful about where they get their information from.
In every significant crisis, there will be people who insist the current President is secretly working for Satan and creating a last days’ deception. They will inevitably assert that the deceiver in the oval office is about to force us all to take the mark of the beast. This narrative has been used to describe every President of the last 100 years. It will be used to describe every President of the next 100 years because certain religious sects have this dogma ingrained into their teaching.
In electronics, there is a term called “signal-to-noise ratio.” It compares the level of an electronic signal to the level of background noise. Although originally used to describe electronic signals, it can be applied to any type of signal, such as biochemical signaling between cells, or financial trading signals. The term is also used metaphorically to describe the quality of online conversations. The term “signal” refers to helpful information, while false or irrelevant information is called “noise.”
As I evaluate the quality and quantity of information available during a crisis, I’ve noticed that the amount of useful information remains the same. Reliable sources are limited and somewhat permanent. During a crisis, unreliable sources of information quickly multiply. That is to say, the signal remains the same, but the noise increases. We tend to think that more information is better, so we feverishly search the internet for videos and articles that explain the current situation. Many of us find ourselves running down rabbit trails and dead-ends because we’re listening to the noise and not the signal.
I love receiving revelation from God, but spiritual intelligence, like every other kind of intelligence, has to be correctly analyzed (interpreted) and applied. I find information from Q to be extremely helpful, but I’m aware that some information he provides is disinformation. It’s intended to make corrupt people make wrong moves. If I make my plans or if I assess the likelihood of future events based on disinformation, I’ll be disappointed. Even with reliable sources, there is noise along with the signal.
God has impressed upon me that the greatest need we have today is developing more accurate discernment. If we could make only one change, it would be improving our ability to distinguish truth from error, dark from light. As we move closer to the storm, it will be more important than ever to learn how to ignore distractions, detect disinformation, and avoid unreliable sources. If we hope to help others, we must learn how to focus on the signal and not the noise.