There’s a perfect storm in America. “Fake News”, perhaps the largest linguistic contribution that Donald Trump made to the English language during his presidency, is driving political polarization further. The problem, of course, is that partisans differ in what is wrong. Polemics trumps analysis and at the age of 24/7 cable news and almost instantaneous social media few to analyze the stats that drive arguments.

Perhaps the most memorable book I read in college was the 1954 classic How to lie with statistics. It was an ironic account of how journalists and academics often twist or abuse statistics. Peter Salovey, the professor who commissioned it (and now the president of Yale University), insisted that his class read the book to learn to read more critically. It was one thing to read how humans manipulate statistics, but it was another thing to understand the theory and method behind more complex statistical analysis. In high school, I attended the …


Source link

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.