Monday, March 20, 2017

Tim Hartford on the problem with facts

The problem with facts, slightly longish but well worth a couple of reads, I think.
P.S.  My tentative view. We are in some ways prediction machines for our survival; that is we store information and try to predict to find our way around. The problem is our limited capacity to store quickly recallable information. This is where we have developed short cuts often based an emotions like disgust. The problem is accentuated even for experts with the modern information overload. Atul Gawande describes one such instance in Cowboys and pit crews. Of course there are attempts to see patterns using big databases and so on but these are not amenable to the common man. So we need chains of dissemination to reach the common man to make reasonable judgements. But these chain are also manned by people with similar biases and self interests. So perhaps what we need are people for whom the interests of other people are more important than their own, perhaps people like Asron Swartz or deliberate attempts to cultivate such attitudes.

No comments: