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It's all Fake News

Last night I watched Scott Adams and Michael Black have a conversation around Scotts claim that 'All news is fake'. The discussion was proof that you can't have a conversation with people who still believe the news is true. Michael experienced cognitive dissonance multiple times.

Scott tried, but didn't manage to prove to Michael that all news is fake, so I thought I'd give it a go. Below are a list of reasons why you can't trust the news.

    1. Opinions/Data

    The news comes in different two forms - opinions and data. If you have the tools to show that both are unreliable, you can conclude that the news itself is unreliable.

    2. Witness Testimony

    This can't be trusted due to our ability to remember false memories (Remembering events that never happened). Scientist's showed subject's old photos from their childhood and asked the story behind them. They also include a hot air balloon and asked for the story behind it. At first they struggled, but on future recollections they were able to recall the full day (that never happened).

    3. Anonymous Sources

    It doesn't matter how many anonymous sources say the same thing as they can't be checked. It could easily be one person lying, multiple times you'd need know. As such, they shouldn't be trusted, no matter how true they sound.

    I made a video to show how insane believing an anonymous source is

    4. Mind Reading

    This is when someone looks at anothers action and words and imagines that they can read their minds and work out why they did something. He said/did that, because ____. You can't know why someone did something. As a result you can't trust mind readers.

    5. Lies

    You can't trust someone just because they're an expert. What if their livelihood depends on the lie? What if the lie is to protect someone/thing? What if they're persuading us to believe something so we act differently? Don't automatically trust people, take what they say with a grain of salt.

    6. Causation/Correlation

    Often people misread data. Ice cream sales and shark attacks follow a very similar bell graph. Low in January, a peak in July and a fall back to a low in December. So, obviously this shows that the more ice cream bought the more shark attacks that will occur. Why haven't we stopped the sale of Ice cream yet? This is a disgrace! Obviously this isn't the case, people want Ice cream and to swim in the sea when it's warm, during the summer months. You'd be amazed how often causation and correlation are mixed up in the news.

    7. Projection

    We often see data projecting out into the future. This can't be trusted. Imagine you see a graph for time and water temperature. As the time goes on the water heats up. A projection would show that given a month the water would be as hot as the surface of the sun, and that's why you should never heat water for longer than a few minutes. That's rubbish, but it shows the problem with projection. Also the real world isn't a closed system theirs so many metrics in flux that could affect your data. Could future technology change things? What about a population boost? Or a global pandemic? Projection can be useful short term, but as time expands it becomes less and less useful.

    8. Video

    You can see and hear it with your own eyes it can't get any more true than that. Can it? Wrong. In many cases clips can be taken out of context and be labelled to show the opposite of what the initial video was saying. For example - Imagine a survey of people's favourite crip flavour is being done. The answers are recommended via video. 'ready salted' 'roast chicken ' 'salt and vinegar ' 'cheese and onion ' etc. after that day they've collected over 1,000 answers. They then discard all answers, but 'Salt and vinegar '. They then clip off the 'salt and Vi' to be left with what looks like a racist term. You then label the video 'Uk's most racist city ' and show a video with all these clips. Is it the most racist city? It certainly looks that way from the video. Always seek out the full video as clips are often misleading.

    9. Dunning Kruger.

    We can often tell news is rubbish when we're knowledgeable on the subject. There's usually a mistake somewhere. Yet when we're not knowledgable we assume everything is correct. Is it more likely that they only get it wrong on thing's you know or that they get it wrong about everything?

    10. Science

    Science is truth, right? Wrong. It's the peruset of truth, by providing preconceived truths, false. We edge closer to the truth with each experiment. The earth was once the centre of the universe, that was 'true', then it's the sun. Newtons gravity was 'true' until Einstein debunked it. Science is always changing and bringing us closer to the truth. As it's always changing what are the odds that what we know now is the absolute truth?

    11. What did I Miss?

    If you know of any other ways to tell that the news is not true please let me know in the comments.

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