Friday, December 21, 2007

Read: "unSpun" by Brooks Jackson

Read: unSpun: finding facts in a world of disinformation by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, 2007, 9781400065660.

A nice, short book jampacked with sense. This details a lot of things I have already learned about advertising, political adverts, and critical thinking. There are nice examples that the authors deconstruct and they give tips on recognizing bullshit. Eight chapters including "warning signs of trickery", "tricks of the deceptive trade", finding evidence, and online resources. A book worth buying. I, of course, got it from the Library.

There is a discussion at the end about being skeptical, but not cynical. I thought that was a nice tough and is something the authors touch on throughout the book. You need not immediately dismiss anything a spokesman says, just realize that the argument may be one-sided or ignorant of the opposing argument.

I also like the debunking of the "liberal media vs. right-wing media" arguments people make. In regard to the willingness of people to in the face of obvious proof, " decades of social science experiments have shown that, in a sense, there's a little UFO cultist in everybody" and "...we apply stringent tests to evidence we don't want to hear, while letting slide uncritically into our minds any information that suits our needs."

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