Uncovering truth in a data-infested world

With a flood of information streaming at us from various social media sites and news platforms, how do we get closer to the truth?

There has always been an assortment of questions that demand the public’s attention. However, with the influx of data that has come with the internet and various social media platforms, it can be even harder to discern the truth.

What’s more, there are people trying to make it even more difficult to understand the world. Steve Bannon, chief strategist to former President Donald Trump, made it his explicit goal to “flood the zone” with false information.

“We can fool ourselves into believing or disbelieving all sorts of things just because we want them to be true or we really want them not to be true.” — Tim Harford, author of the book, “The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics”


Listen: How to be better armed against bad information.

 


Guest

Tim Harford is the author of the new book, “The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics.” Harford says even leading experts mistake truth and falsehoods because they want something to be true. “We can fool ourselves into believing or disbelieving all sorts of things just because we want them to be true or we really want them not to be true,” he says.

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