Spotting lies on the news might be easier this election year, but they all are
not easy to see if you don’t have training and a critical eye. Levitin tells you
what to pay attention to when the talking heads and marketers are presenting
their “facts.” An indispensable read when too many schools are avoiding
teaching critical thinking skills.
— Justin, Atlanta
From TheNew York Times bestselling author of THE ORGANIZED MIND and THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC, a primer to the critical thinking that is more necessary now than ever. 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. New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.
It's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information? Levitin groups his field guide into two categories--statistical infomation and faulty arguments--ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel, including social media. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren't. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning--not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. Readers learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's charming, entertaining, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren't so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks
About the Author
Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, is a neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist, and bestselling author. He is Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI in San Francisco, a Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and Professor Emeritus at McGill University. He is the author of This Is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, and The Organized Mind. He divides his time between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.