A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age

A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age

Scientific Habits of Mind

Book - 2016
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"This book provides an inoculation against the misinformation epidemic by cultivating scientific habits of mind. From dissolving our fear of numbers and demystifying graphs, to elucidating the key concepts of probability and the use of precise language and logic, Helfand supplies an essential set of apps for the pre-frontal cortex while making science both accessible and entertaining."--Publisher marketing.
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9780231168724
0231168721
Branch Call Number: 500 H4746s 2016
Characteristics: xii, 325 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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SeattleSaul
Dec 25, 2018

Packed with information about science and non-science in a readable manner, this book could be informative to those not familiar with the scientific method. As an informed reader and a person somewhat educated in science, I found nevertheless that the book wanders a bit and becomes tedious in places. He makes a good point that a scientific theory must also be refutable; hence any belief system such as creationism should not be taught as science in schools.
He also gives weight to our evolution in coming to conclusions: the quicker and simpler the better as a survival mechanism in the wilds.
I am not so sure about the “survival guide” (for today’s world) in the title, since most disasters that can hit us are on a national or global scale that we have little control over; whereas we can help ourselves and children survive epidemics by inoculation, per his example. Perhaps this book can crack open the door to these ideas for those who are standing outside now.

p
pm221
Feb 03, 2017

A helpful reminder of the scientific method and some Bayesian statistics, but I cannot help but think this is too little too late in view of the rampant "alternative facts" and anti-scientific sentiment currently swilling around.
Definitely recommended for any-one who is understandably confused by aforesaid swill.

s
StarGladiator
Aug 17, 2016

The reviewer says: // Even scientists fail regularly \\ Got that straight, just look at the several reports by the National Academy of Science on the JFK assassination, and the recent HPV vaccine debacle.
If only 5% or less of the women who come into contact with HPV will later in life experience cervical cancer, and thepercentage of young girls given the HPV vaccine who experience negative and mortal side effects is roughly 5% [as in death or paralysis] does it make sense to actually take that vaccine? [The original scientist who developed it said no in a speech several years back.]
The NAS studies on the motorcycle policeman's recording of the assassination shots was found to be seriously flawed by the British Forensic Science Society, and the NAS in an earlier study used the model of the Mannlicher-Carcano that the Warren Commission specified - - 36 inch, 5.5 pound carbine - - in its flawed ammo study, whereas the Dallas PD supposedly found, and submitted as evidence, the model which was 40.2 inches and 7.5 pound short rifle!
Read this book with much skepticism, please.

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