The LA Times fumbles its coverage of the scary new Coronavirus strain

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A new, not very well understood strain of coronavirus is circulating in California. In its article about it, the LA Times did a very good job of combining fear and uncertainty into a confusing mix that creates more heat than light. Given the amount of misinformation spreading about the virus from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, … Continued

What can you learn from this awesome article on . . . hockey goalies?

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I am not a hockey fan. But when I read Ken Dryden’s new piece in The Atlantic — “Hockey Has a Gigantic-Goalie Problem” — I was captivated. This is not showy writing. It’s just so engaging you can’t stop reading. Yes, folks, this is 4700 words on the pads and behaviors of hockey goalies, written … Continued

Of course, that’s what a cat would say

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I could tell you that I’m posting this to draw attention to how we are all, now, victims of the technology that we surround ourselves with. Or that in these difficult times, even in an adversarial legal proceeding, we can all be sensitive to each others’ human needs. But the truth is, it was just … Continued

Jewish space lasers, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and conspiracy narratives

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Marjorie Taylor Greene, the wacko Georgia Congresswoman who supports QAnon, has also posted about a novel conspiracy theory on her Facebook page: that a Jewish cabal caused lasers from space to start the California wildfires of 2018. Yeah. I’m not making this up. Her Facebook post on the topic has been deleted, and she says … Continued

GameStop stock spikes: should we shut down the talk or the trading?

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GameStop is a troubled bricks-and-mortar retailer whose stock has skyrocketed based on chatter on Reddit. Is this a real problem, and does it demand a real solution? First, briefly, here’s what has happened. A bunch of wise guys, many in hedge funds, believed that because so many people now buy games online, GameStop is toast. … Continued

Jack Dorsey’s lame explanation for suspending Trump’s Twitter account

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Last week, Donald Trump’s Twitter feed disappeared. After seeing the violence in the Capitol, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided that Trump’s feed was inciting violence and removed it. But Dorsey’s tweets explaining the ban were meandering and confusing. Let’s take a look at what Dorsey tweeted . . . and what he could have said … Continued

Fight pernicious confirmation bias: 8 great ways to farm for dissent

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I’m struck by how one psychological tendency — confirmation bias — is at the root of all the trends undermining our society. There is a solution: it’s called “farming for dissent.” Confirmation bias is “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.” And as humans, we are all … Continued

This viral tweet about impeachment is full of lies

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A tweet from last week said that Trump, once impeached, would lose his pension, travel allowance, secret service protection, and ability to run again. It got 193,000 retweets. And it’s quite wrong. Here’s the tweet, the contents of which circulated widely, not just on Twitter, but on other social networks: To start, Trump was already … Continued