No, denial is not the name of a river in Egypt. It has, and still is, alive and well in many of our most contentious political and scientific concerns. But in order to combat denial, one must be aware of what’s in the denialist’s toolbox. Here are the hammers, screwdrivers, and saws used to construct the denialist platform.
Cows to the rescue, truthfulness vs. truth, are pescatarians more ethical than those who eat beef?
The virus from Wuhan, can something be "partly false," Skynet is increasing real, are fungi our friends, does our soul live within our network?
Victims of disinformation campaigns can use a five-pronged strategy to fight back and win.
Americans -- so desperate to end the need for masks, social distancing, and limited access to restaurants, salons, concerts, and schools -- will surely be clamoring for a vaccine as soon as it’s available. Or will they? Recent polls suggest that only about 40% of Americans would take the vaccine. It is vital that this number be increased. But how? Let's explore this issue.
In addition to the multiple rhythms that underlie our individual lives, when we come together we tend to "synch" with one another. Whether it be as simple as adjusting the pace of our walking; the give-and-take of our conversation; or as seemingly sophisticated as the murmuration of starlings, it is a biologic phenomenon. How do we entrain, tie together, our independent rhythms?
Should Facebook be in the business of "debunking" news and scientific data when events are rapidly changing? What's true today may be declared false tomorrow, only to be declared true again a week later. Furthermore, does Facebook have the expertise to do so?
Just when you thought the pandemic of misinformation could not get worse, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, surfaces to add his misinformative spin. His website has two video presentations on suspect therapies for COVID-19. Let's consider them in turn.
There is wide agreement that fake news, exacerbated by social media, is a major social problem and threat to democracy. Yet, we tend to view the problem as being caused by "other people." Actually, you should look in the mirror: You're part of the problem.
It's January, with an increase in gym memberships as people vow to get fit; but the fitness craze has its roots at least 100 years ago in Victorian Britain. Did HAL, the super-smart computer in 2001 - A Space Odyssey commit murder? Stories with a kernel of truth and a dash of obfuscation or misdirection make TRUTH somewhat negotiable even in textbooks. Finally, images that capture birds in flight by compressing time.
The question "What is truth?" is perhaps the hardest one ever posed. Science is based on the correspondence theory of truth, namely, that truth corresponds to reality. But others say that truth is based on consensus, while others say that truth is entirely relative. So, what's the truth about truth?
Truth is real but sometimes difficult to ascertain, particularly when political ideologies and motivated reasoning are involved. To eschew these pitfalls, fact-checkers need to be keenly sensitive to such biases. Otherwise, they will be seen as simply another manifestation of "fake news."