Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Play game – fight fake news

Build your resistance to disinformation by playing the game Bad News, created by a team of experts.  Here is a review of it.

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February 23, 2018 Posted by | fun, information, politics | , , | Leave a comment

I can haz all ur votes

“…wealth of information creates a poverty of attention…”

— Herbert Simon, a noted economist, 1971

Start by checking out the chart in the middle of the article below, depicting increasing U.S. political polarization.  Then read the article to see how the internet led us there.

It’s a huge problem that is getting worse.

Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis

An economy based on attention is easily gamed

Nov 4th 2017 |The Economist

 

January 27, 2018 Posted by | information, news, politics, sociology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

Two related articles on how people end up with such divergent views from the same set of facts, and how the gap between the two sides keeps getting larger.

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

Tali Sharot | September 19, 2017 | Time Magazine

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September 19, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, information, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

Social media filter bubbles may not exist

It’s depressing to hear how rather than spreading ideas and views, the internet polarized people more — fault social media for feeding news that reinforces existing beliefs.  A new study has brought to light that this is not entirely true: we shoud be blaming old people and cable news instead.

Social media “filter bubbles” aren’t actually a thing, research suggests

Noah Kulwin | Apr 14, 2017 | Vice News

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April 17, 2017 Posted by | information, politics | , | Leave a comment

Beware of fake think tanks

It’s not just fake news you have to watch for, but also fake think tanks.  This article explains how they manage to fool people.

Fake Think Tanks Fuel Fake News—And the President’s Tweets

| 01.24.17 | Wired

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April 5, 2017 Posted by | information, politics | , , | Leave a comment

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Good article.

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

January 1, 2017 Posted by | brain, decision making, information, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

Faking images and video

Can you believe your own eyes? It looks like we can’t even rely on that in the future.

Artificial intelligence is going to make it easier than ever to fake images and video

January 1, 2017 Posted by | AI, information | , , | Leave a comment

Yes, I’d lie to you

Scary. Really scary. A must-read.

Yes, I’d lie to you

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

The Economist | Sep 10th 2016

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October 9, 2016 Posted by | information, politics, sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to find anywhere on the planet

New, more accurate way of addressing places in the world — using a combination of 3 words.   What’s your address? Try it out at  https://map.what3words.com.  (Helps if you use the satellite view, enlarge until you see the 9 meter squares, and “unpin”.)

How to find anywhere on the planet

Jul 2nd 2016 | From the print edition of the Economist

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July 29, 2016 Posted by | information | , , , | Leave a comment

Unreliable research

If you think you can rely on scientific research as truth, you’d be wrong, according to this article. I certainly will be much more skeptical of research from now on.  Well explained, a must-read article from The Economist:

Unreliable research:

Trouble at the lab

Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not

The Economist, Oct 19th 2013

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April 8, 2014 Posted by | information, statistics | , , , , | Leave a comment