A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age Review

From The New 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!

 

Title:A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Taryn

    The most important component of the best critical thinking that is lacking in our society today is humility. It is a simple yet profound notion: If we realize we don’t know everything, we can learn...

  • Trish

    Oh, boy, I wish every one of my fellow citizens had the information shared in this book as part of their reading regime. On one hand, it would make it much harder to convince people with statistics. O...

  • Esil

    If someone told me I would read a book about numbers and enjoy it as much as a good novel, I suspect I would snort with laughter. Not that I'm number phobic or a math hater, but reading about numbers ...

  • Jim

    This is a book about how to spot problems with the facts you encounter, problems that may lead you to draw the wrong conclusions - critical skills that we need today since we're blasted with informati...

  • Andy

    One of the most dangerous bits of confusion out there is the idea that "we live longer". I was very happy that Levitin addresses this early on (p.20), explaining that AVERAGE life expectancy is up a l...

  • David

    A good mix of Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't and Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, with original ideas thrown in as ...

  • Amirography

    A wonderfully well written book, on how to recognize fallacies and biased perspectives and to immune ourselves from being stuck with false beliefs....

  • Christy

    Finished this just in time to order it for fall! I'll swap it for Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking, a remarkable book for its small size and clear, non-jargon prose, but it's j...

  • Atila Iamarino

    Bom livro sobre leitura crítica para tempos modernos que passa por um pouco de tudo. Sei de bons exemplos mais a fundo de cada tópico, mas vale pela obra toda, especialmente porque economiza a leitu...

  • Ilaria

    Daniel Levitin's Field guide presents a guide for putting in practice critical thinking, ranging from analyzing how numbers are presented in graphs, to applying Bayesian probabilities to court cases a...