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1 Work 380 jäsentä 11 arvostelua

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Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World (2020) — Tekijä — 380 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua

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[3.75] Don’t let the eye-grabbing title B.S. you. If you’re expecting a lighthearted, entertaining and humorous roadmap to guide you through the cesspools of fake news, this isn’t your book. But if you’re not easily intimidated by math-driven and science-focused examples of misinformation, “Calling Bullshit” will offer many intriguing insights. I’ve red-flagged nearly 50 informational nuggets for future reference, including a dozen that will be integrated into my college-level media literacy class that pinpoints strategies for ferreting out fake news.

True, many of the book’s premises have been explored before. For example, a 4-minute video I’ve been using in my classes for years hits on some of the exact strategies for guarding against misinformation and disinformation. Still, Bergstrom and West serve up some excellent examples that vividly illustrate how data can be manipulated to fool unsuspecting audiences. The authors refer to a headline that screamed “Airport Security Trays Carry More Germs Than Toilets.” This fact was true, but the study only looked at respiratory viruses, the kind often transmitted through droplets on people’s hands when they cough or sneeze. Most of us don’t sneeze onto toilet seats or caress the seats with our hands.

The book offers timely perspectives on artificial intelligence as it highlights the problem of algorithm bias. “When we train machines to make decisions based on data that arise in a biased society, the machines learn and perpetuate those same biases,” write the authors.

“Calling Bullshit” also explores the dangers of confirmation bias (our tendency to notice, believe, and share information that is consistent with our preexisting beliefs) and illusory truth effect (The more often we see something, the more likely we are to believe it). Some reviewers who have described the book as “dense” aren’t spreading fake news. Had the authors spent a bit less time on statistics-focused examples and broadened their focus to include misinformation that had nothing to do with math or science, “Calling Bullshit” would have been more accessible to the general reader. Then again, the subtitle foreshadows the fact that the authors are focusing on our “data-driven world.”
… (lisätietoja)
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brianinbuffalo | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 28, 2024 |
Fantastic book that walks throight different kinds of bullshit and guides the reader as to how to build some defences against them. The books is both technical, educational and funny at the same time. This material should be essential reading for every student.
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yates9 | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 28, 2024 |
The book focuses mainly on « spotting » bullshit in the context of information shared online. It does a great job at defining what bullshit is and is not and gives concrete examples to help spot it. The book is written in simple and clear language and is easy to navigate when you want to devote more attention to one type of bullshit more than another.

The book talks about rebutting bullshit in the last chapter and provides wise words about when it is appropriate or not to do so.

With the title and the number of pages, I was expecting to find a bit more. In particular, how do you deal with compound bullshit? Corporate bullshit? How do you deal with a deluge of bullshit, where the bullshitter inundates the audience to sow confusion? How do you deal with bullshit « live »? I found the book gave helpful hints for the asynchronous world of online interactions, but I am left with some unanswered questions about real-world interactions.

That being said, there are so many nuggets in the book that maybe I just need to let the ideas simmer, get better at « spotting » and the live applications will follow.
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Bloum | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 23, 2024 |
This book was a mixed bag of sorts. On the one hand, the authors recognise that bullshit is high art, spread through fake news factories and hammering away at our critical facilities through volume and confirmation bias alone.
On the other hand, Calling Bullshit treats itself as high art. It contains gems such as "you must treat others with kindness because the power you've gained is tremendous, and there's no need to be too high and mighty". I could also express the book in pamphlet form for what it's worth - without losing an iota of coherency - in its current state, it simply felt bloated.
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the author's treatment of the topic - to give out one line of a rebuttal, he prefers pages of exposition. Given the book's title, it's ironic that I could make a strong case against the book itself as to how bullshit cloaks itself in a veneer of volume and intellect. Studies showing 'females could run faster than males in 2156' are refuted as bullshit because 'by this logic, 100-meter races could be run in negative time by 2536', and the core argument that females might run faster than males in the future is never addressed by the authors.
I could even argue that the book's climax, in which the authors show how 'well, actually...' person is different from the 'bullshit denier', is simply what the authors do all along. Well-intentioned claims that the wage pay gap exists because recommendations for women mention their communication abilities more than their intelligence are downplayed in the book just because some tweets misquoted the original study. Examples like these make for extremely frustrating reading.
This book feels like an introductory primer for tackling misinformation, which is okay for most, I guess, but not for me.
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SidKhanooja | 10 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 1, 2023 |


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