A big part of modernism ("pragmatism") is understanding statistics. That societies make huge improvements for their people by properly considering the data. But anecdotes override our rationality with emotion, and make much better fodder for media attention.

@wjmaggos so how should we inform ourselves and not be sent in wrong direction by anecdote? How to know what statistics to trust?


that's the discussion worth having imo. what's the best way to gather data and who can best prove they are doing that? how do we help that occur with money and oversight?

we fear admitting that the "other side" has a point or criticizing our own. we care more about acceptance from our tribe than truth. that makes perfect sense evolutionarily, but so does a lot of reprehensible things. society requires most of us to rise above that. difficulty has just gone up cause of the web/socials.

@wjmaggos Indeed. And it isn't just anecdotes: as Wu documents in The Attention Merchants, our many cognitive biases have been well and truly plumbed for more than a century now; they're fish in a barrel these days, for content publishers of all ilks.

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a place for liberal values on the #fediverse