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

By Daniel J. Levitin

From The New York instances bestselling writer of THE geared up brain and this is often YOUR mind ON song, a primer to the serious pondering that's extra invaluable now than ever.

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

it truly is turning into more durable to split the wheat from the electronic chaff. How can we distinguish incorrect information, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from trustworthy info? Levitin teams his box advisor into categories—statistical infomation and defective arguments—ultimately exhibiting how technology is the bedrock of severe considering. Infoliteracy capability knowing 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 count on newspapers, bloggers, the govt, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically right, yet they so frequently aren't. we have to imagine seriously 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 implies checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting info, repeating it, and making judgements in response to it. Readers learn how to stay away from the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's fascinating, enjoyable, obtainable consultant may also help a person get up to a complete lot of items that are not so. And seize 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

Example text

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. Manipulating the framing of any message furnishes an endless number of ways people can make you believe something that isn’t so if you don’t stop to think about what they’re saying.

In formal logic there are two formulations of this rule: 1) Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this). This is a logical fallacy that arises from thinking that just because one thing (Y) occurs after another (X), that X caused Y. People typically brush their teeth before going off to work in the morning. But brushing their teeth doesn’t cause them to go to work. In this case, it is even possibly the reverse. 2) Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this).

Sometimes the evidence consists of numbers and we have to ask, “Where did those numbers come from? ” Sometimes the numbers are ridiculous, but it takes some reflection to see it. Sometimes claims seem reasonable, but come from a source that lacks credibility, like a person who reports having witnessed a crime but wasn’t actually there. This book can help you to avoid learning a whole lot of things that aren’t so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks. We’ve created more human-made information in the last five years than in all of human history before them.

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