@John LOL yes, i'd say you are somewhat optimstic! BTW it's not just math and stats that work. My kid feels a lot more grounded in world issues after having studied history for her AP exams (and she got a 5). She shakes her head at the ignorance of history she sees around her. It's all about understanding causation and context.
@ariella I do agree. That why I wrote the book in part! And I think just getting people talking about these issues--and not so afraid of statistics--is a great start. Perhaps I am just an optimist about data literacy at heart...
@john but still they have to have someone bring it to their attention. So many headlines and even the data visualizations that accompany them sneak in correlations as causations in a way that can look convincing for those who don't question the data, the logic, and the relationships.
@louisw I think there is a tendency for people to overlook obvious statistical fallacies. Starbucks is a great example. But I am struck when I speak to audiences that after they hear the Starbucks story, they seem to not only get it but often tell me later that they thought of several other examples of similarly misleading relationships. So I think not all hope is lost!
@John It sounds like there is a real issue with fallacious reasoning throughout society, what are your thoughts regarding those who don't have the training to see through an erroneous conclusion ? How do we address this issue ? Is it too late ? I am thinking of your Starbucks example in particuliar.
@Alex that's what I try to do. I look at RW and LW coverages and consider the truth is somewhere in between. However, some sources are less reliable about certain issues than others, something you also learn after a while.
@Louis agreed. watching the news makes you a more passive consumer of it, so you are less likely to think through and question what you are told than when you read it, especially if you read the same news story as reported in more than one source.
@Ariella I am. The Media/Press used to be a safeguard against the manipulation of facts, but even they now use shortcuts that leave a person who wants more than fluff wondering how these facts (assertions) were constructed.
I read a lot more News than I watch on TV but it appears that most of the population still take TV based news as the end all, be all. And that is a problem.
Fake News = Content for the sake of Content. It is the unfortunate outcome of a Web gone wild. Fake news is unfortunately here to stay, which makes it all the more important that individuals have the means to decifer what is real news. I will be waiting for this but I will not hold my breathe.