Another fascinating talk on post-truth, this time by Tim Harford of Radio 4’s “More or Less” fame. The take home message seems to be that people need to care more about the world, and that facts alone aren’t enough to change opinions.

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2017-02-08 Tim Harford
Statistics: Why the truth matters
1953 New York -- John Hill "Doubt is our product"
Sir Walter
painted smoke gives mice cancer
[F]acebook [F]act checking -- probably helps a little bit. Helps those who already know some facts.
Pope endorses [Trump]?
Fake news -- is more profitable (advertising) - Click!
"Backfire Effect"
* £340M -- Just not true! -- but truth is hard to forget
* Simple facts are more persuasive
* Princeton vs. Dartmouth -- "They saw a game" -- Perception is coloured by feelings
-- And it's WORSE for scientists!
[Flu jab] doesn't cause flu -- accepting this is not enough! Still won't get vaccinated.
Filter bubbles and echo chambers:
Algorithms make it worse, searches are personalised, therefore biased.
BUT people do it naturally.
It's not a problem (today)
-- Filter bubblers don't even read the news!
(China) 50 cent army -- creating distraction.
Sally Prusiner (Nobel prize) for CJD and prions -- funded by tobacco!
TRIVIALISM
most people just aren't paying attention
* Dan Kahan - measuring curiosity
We need to make people care
Hans Rosling (1948-2017) -- we need more like him.