By Daniel J. Levitin
From The New York occasions bestselling writer of THE geared up brain and this can be YOUR mind ON tune, a primer to the severe considering that's extra important now than ever.
We are bombarded with additional information every day than our brains can process—especially in election season. it truly is raining undesirable info, half-truths, or even outright lies. New York Times bestselling writer Daniel J. Levitin shows the best way to realize deceptive bulletins, statistics, graphs, and written stories revealing the methods mendacity weasels can use them.
it is turning into tougher to split the wheat from the electronic chaff. How can 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 technological know-how is the bedrock of serious considering. Infoliteracy capability knowing that there are hierarchies of resource caliber and bias that variously distort our info feeds through each media channel, together with social media. We may well anticipate newspapers, bloggers, the govt, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically right, yet they so usually will not be. we have to imagine significantly concerning the phrases and numbers we come upon if we wish to succeed 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, pleasing, obtainable advisor will help somebody 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 resources for A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age
This is exactly what Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, did recently in a presentation on iPhone sales. � 2013 The Verge, Vox Media Inc. com/apple-iphone-5s-liveblog/) Plotting Things That Are Unrelated There are so many things going on in the world that some coincidences are bound to happen. The number of green trucks on the road may be increasing at the same time as your salary; when you were a kid, the number of shows on television may have increased with your height. But that doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.
We—each of us—need to think critically and carefully about the numbers and words we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the numbers, the reasoning, and the sources for plausibility and rigor. It means examining them as best as we can before we repeat them or use them to form an opinion. We want to avoid the extremes of gullibly accepting every claim we encounter or cynically rejecting every one. Critical thinking doesn’t mean we disparage everything, it means that we try to distinguish between claims with evidence and those without.
I could tell you that the average wealth of a hundred people in a room is a whopping $350 million. You might think this is the place to unleash a hundred of your best salespeople. But the room could have Mark Zuckerberg (net worth $35 billion) and ninety-nine people who are indigent. The average can smear across differences that are important. Another thing to watch out for in averages is the bimodal distribution. Remember, the mode is the value that occurs most often. In many biological, physical, and social datasets, the distribution has two or more peaks—that is, two or more values that appear more than the others.
A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin