Read e-book online A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information PDF

By Daniel J. Levitin

ISBN-10: 0525955224

ISBN-13: 9780525955221

From The New York instances bestselling writer of THE equipped brain and this can be YOUR mind ON song, a primer to the severe pondering that's extra priceless now than ever.

We are bombarded with additional info every day than our brains can process—especially in election season. it truly is raining undesirable information, half-truths, or even outright lies. New York Times bestselling writer Daniel J. Levitin shows easy methods to realize deceptive bulletins, data, graphs, and written reviews revealing the methods mendacity weasels can use them.

it truly is changing into tougher to split the wheat from the electronic chaff. How will we distinguish incorrect information, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from trustworthy details? Levitin teams his box advisor into categories—statistical infomation and defective arguments—ultimately displaying how technology is the bedrock of severe considering. Infoliteracy potential realizing that there are hierarchies of resource caliber and bias that variously distort our details feeds through each media channel, together with social media. We might anticipate newspapers, bloggers, the govt., and Wikipedia to be factually and logically right, yet they so usually should not. we have to imagine significantly concerning the phrases and numbers we stumble upon if we wish to be triumphant at paintings, at play, and in profiting from our lives. this suggests checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting info, repeating it, and making judgements in accordance with it. Readers discover ways to stay away from the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's fascinating, unique, obtainable consultant might help a person get up to a complete lot of items that are not so. And trap a few mendacity weasels of their tracks!


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Additional info for A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age

Sample text

Unfortunately, found alongside things that are true is an enormous number of things that are not, in websites, videos, books, and on social media. This is not just a new problem. Misinformation has been a fixture of human life for thousands of years, and was documented in biblical times and classical Greece. The unique problem we face today is that misinformation has proliferated; it is devilishly entwined on the Internet with real information, making the two difficult to separate. And misinformation is promiscuous—it consorts with people of all social and educational classes, and turns up in places you don’t expect it to.

What the ad agency behind these decades-old ads wants you to think is that the dentists prefer Colgate above and beyond other brands. But that’s not true. The Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom investigated this claim and ruled it an unfair practice because the survey that was conducted allowed dentists to recommend more than one toothpaste. In fact, Colgate’s biggest competitor was named nearly as often as Colgate (a detail you won’t see in Colgate’s ads). Framing came up in the section on averages and implicitly in the discussion of graphs.

2 percent of its size, but at about 42 percent. When your visual system is pitted against your logical system, the visual system usually wins, unless you work extra diligently to overcome this visual bias. The accurate infographic would look like this but would have much less emotional impact: Interpreting and Framing Often a statistic will be properly created and reported, but someone—a journalist, an advocate, any non-statistician—will misreport it, either because they’ve misunderstood it or because they didn’t realize that a small change in wording can change the meaning.

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A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin

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