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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age of Misinformation » User review

Should be required reading for a number of people...

  • Dec 30, 2012
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Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age of Misinformation by Loren Collins is one of those books you'd like to force everyone to read before they post anything online or express their "beliefs". Collins does an excellent job in categorizing the different types of misinformation you often encounter when people are trying to convince you that their "alternative" views are legitimate. Once you understand how people support those opinions, you can effectively counter the arguments. Of course, it doesn't mean they'll actually change, though... :)

Contents:
Introduction; Baloney Detection; Denialism; Conspiracy Theories; Rumors; Quotations; Hoaxes; Pseudoscience; Pseudohistory; Pseudolaw; What's The Harm; Notes, Index

Collins uses real-life examples in all the chapters to illustrate his points. For example, denialism is covered with the use of the young earth theory, JFK's assassination by a single person, the moon landing, Shakespeare's authorship, and the Holocaust. Each chapter covers how to spot that type of "logic", as well as the arguments that you'll encounter when you try to point out the fallacies. I found that breaking out the different types helped my understanding, as it broke down the feeling of being overwhelmed by the stupidity that is out there.

It's sad that the people who need this information the most will be the ones least likely to read Bullspotting, but one can hope. For everyone else, this is a very good read.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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About the reviewer
Thomas Duff ()
Ranked #43
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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"This is a book that everyone should take to heart. It reminds us that the human intellectual capacity for self-deception is infinite.A great read!" --Nicholas Capaldi, director, Center for Spiritual Capital, Loyola University New Orleans, and author ofThe Art of Deception

"This highly readable and entertaining book is full of wonderful examples of BS. It also provides a very useful compendium of the warning signs of BS. We all need to build some immunity to BS—especially youngsters. This book is a good place to start. --Dr. Stephen Law, philosopher and author of Believing Bullshit

"Collins has given us a useful set of tools in combating pseudoscientific claptrap, hoaxes, conspiracies, and most manner and means of attempts to confuse, hoodwink, obfuscate, bamboozle, or baffle the public. Bullspotting follows along the same lines and traditions of critical thinking developed by Carl Sagan and offers a fresh approach in our day-to-day attempts to detect baloney. It is also an excellent compilation of recent historical references." --Christopher DiCarlo, author of How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass

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