Archive for February, 2017
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.
Statistics: Why the truth matters
1953 New York -- John Hill "Doubt is our product"
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!
* £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!
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.
Another interesting talk at the Oxford Skeptics in the Pub meeting — Mark Lynas is an eco-activist who came to the conclusion that GMO is not necessarily bad, and that Organic isn’t necessarily good, using the power of critical thinking. One interesting point he made is that the degree of scientific consensus supporting GMO safety is roughly the same as that supporting climate change. So if you think critically you have to accept both (or possibly neither?)
Trump for a reason - we abandoned reason.
Royal Society - Nullius in Versa
GMO - destruction of crops
Science support for climate change = science support for GMO saftey
Virus resistant cassava
an entire maize crop (drought in Tanzania)
Dosimeter at Fukushima
Golfball sized piece of Uranium
Wind turbines won't be enough
E. Coli from Organic food - kidney failure
1961 technology -- you'd need this much extra land for agriculture [2 x USA]
join Refugees Welcome in Oxford
Gene drive vs. Malaria
40% coal (UK) -> 10% coal
identity bubbles get smaller and smaller
Plea: be an activist on critical thinking.