Weaponized Lies

Weaponized Lies

How to Think Critically in the Post-truth Era

Book - 2017 | 2017 edition.
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Winner of the National Business Book Award 

Winner of the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction

Previously Published as  A Field Guide to Lies

We're surrounded by fringe theories, fake news, and pseudo-facts. These lies are getting repeated.  New York Times  bestselling author Daniel Levitin shows how to disarm these socially devastating inventions and get our minds back on track. Here are the fundamental lessons in critical thinking that we need to know and share now.  

Investigating numerical misinformation, Daniel Levitin shows how mishandled statistics and graphs can give a grossly distorted perspective and lead us to terrible decisions. Wordy arguments on the other hand can easily be persuasive as they drift away from the facts in an appealing yet misguided way. The steps we can take to better evaluate news, advertisements, and reports are clearly detailed. Ultimately, Levitin turns to what underlies our ability to determine if something is true or false: the scientific method. He grapples with the limits of what we can and cannot know. Case studies are offered to demonstrate the applications of logical thinking to quite varied settings, spanning courtroom testimony, medical decision making, magic, modern physics, and conspiracy theories.

This urgently needed book enables us to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. As Levitin attests: Truth matters. A post-truth era is an era of willful irrationality, reversing all the great advances humankind has made. Euphemisms like "fringe theories," "extreme views," "alt truth," and even "fake news" can literally be dangerous. Let's call lies what they are and catch those making them in the act.
Publisher: Toronto, ON : Penguin, [2017]
Edition: 2017 edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780143196297
Branch Call Number: 153.42 Lev 2017
Characteristics: xxii, 294 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Levitin, Daniel J. Field guide to lies.


From Library Staff

Dr. Levitin, a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, dissects the problem of fake news, that has come to dominate this age, and most importantly proposes a solution to countering the rise of disinformation and fallaciousness. If you are looking to catch an alternative fact in President Trum... Read More »

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Nov 10, 2017

The takeaway message: In the Internet age we save a lot of time in the process of gathering information, we should utilize some of the time saved in the process of scrutinizing and validating this information.

Else the book is repetitive and boring!

Feb 19, 2017

// We're surrounded by fringe theories, fake news, and pseudo-facts. \\
I'm always highly skeptical when I read something as if propaganda and indoctrination were something new, that somehow previously we were told the truth: that the most sinister Andrew Carnegie was a great man, or from a relatively recent article in The Nation, by the senior editor of fact-checking at The New Yorker, whereby he lies outrageously about Jacobo Arbenz being a communist [he was the democratically elected president of Guatemala - - and capitalist - - whom President Eisenhower had overthrown because Arbenz wanted to create a middle-class in his country, and Eisenhower didn't want anyone messing with his financial backer's [Floyd Odlum] investment in United Fruit!
First above all, we must have The Facts, not the exclusion of all facts and pseudo-content foisted on us by Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and NPR. If you don't know how much
Andrew Carnegie Rockefeller [didn't know someone with that name, and heritage, existed, I'll bet?????] is worth, or how much land around the world the Rockefellers own, or who the Mortimer family is, or who the richest top ten families really are, or who owns ExxonMobil, et cetera, then there's a good reason you do not! Somehow, the notion that Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Leslie Stahl, Mike Wallace and various other Fake Newsies ever conveyed the truth is so hilariously, uproarously funny I cannot contain myself!

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