A Field Guide to Lies

A Field Guide to Lies

Critical Thinking in the Information Age

Book - 2016
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We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process especially in election season. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.
Publisher: New York, New York : Dutton, [2016]
ISBN: 9780525955221
Branch Call Number: 153.42 LEV 2016
Characteristics: xi, 292 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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DBRL_MattS Apr 30, 2018

Highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn some simple techniques for evaluating the mass of information bombarding us every day. Especially useful for library staff who want to be sure they're giving their patrons accurate information. Recently reissued as Weaponized Lies. The only new content I'm aware of is the introduction, so interested readers could pick up either book.

Jul 30, 2017

Dull writing. Much of this has been dumbed down so anyone with a background in statistics would be bored, but the Bayesian statistics could have used a better explanation.

Feb 08, 2017

A witty and entertaining introduction of critical thinking. It is kind of an updated and expanded version of Huff's classic, "How to Lie with Statistics." A quick read, it should be required reading in every High School. One flaw was the extremely abbreviated discussion of Bayesian reasoning a bit hard to follow. However, like most of these books, it will be read by people who already know most of this stuff, and ignored by those who need it the most. High school graduation season will be here it a few months, give it as gifts.

Lord_Vad3r Nov 02, 2016

9 out of 10 doctors agree that reading this book will result in serious weight loss, more restful sleep, and make you better looking. Also Daniel Levitin will give you a million dollars just to read and review it!

Psyche. You thought.

But seriously, this is a book all about evaluating information. In a time when many of our news media are beholden to money interests and anyone can spread misinformation via the web, this is a set of skills that is more important than ever. Unfortunately, I suspect the people who could benefit the most from reading this, probably won't. There are certain groups of people who don't like to be confronted with facts and well-framed arguments and are unlikely to deviate from that pattern.

Levitin covers the way graphics, graphs, statistics, probabilities, and words can be used to deceive us. Even trusted and reputable sources may have an ax to grind. Be aware of who's writing and never stop questioning.

And before someone asks, no I didn't check all of the sources the author cites. Most of the concepts discussed are already familiar to me and it is the concept I am interested in not each factual instance cited. Read it for yourself and decide.


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