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Statistics

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  1. 11.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A primer to the critical thinking that is more necessary now than ever. We are bombarded with more information each day than the mind can process—especially in election season. It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. New York Times bestselling author Daniel Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports, revealing the ways lying weasels can use them. It’s becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information? Daniel Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical infomation and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Information literacy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel including social media. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren’t. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. Listeners will learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin’s charming, entertaining, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren’t so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks.

    Available Formats: CD
    A Field Guide to Lies by Daniel J. Levitin

    A Field Guide to Lies

    11.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
    CD
  2. 6.9 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A primer to the critical thinking that is more necessary now than ever. We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them. It’s becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information? Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical infomation and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel, including social media. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren’t. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. Readers learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin’s charming, entertaining, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren’t so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks!

    Available Formats: Download

    A Field Guide to Lies

    6.9 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
    Download
  3. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    9.3 hrs • 6/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Did you know that baseball players whose names begin with the letter D are more likely to die young? Or that Asian Americans are most susceptible to heart attacks on the fourth day of the month? Or that drinking a full pot of coffee every morning will add years to your life, but one cup a day increases the risk of pancreatic cancer? All of these “facts” have been argued with a straight face by credentialed researchers and backed up with reams of data and convincing statistics. As Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase once cynically observed, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess.” Lying with statistics is a time-honored con. In Standard Deviations, economics professor Gary Smith walks us through the various tricks and traps that people use to back up their own crackpot theories. Sometimes, the unscrupulous deliberately try to mislead us. Other times, the well-intentioned are blissfully unaware of the mischief they are committing. Today, data is so plentiful that researchers spend precious little time distinguishing between good, meaningful indicators and total rubbish. Not only do others use data to fool us, we fool ourselves. With the breakout success of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise, the once humdrum subject of statistics has never been hotter. Drawing on breakthrough research in behavioral economics by luminaries like Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely and taking to task some of the conclusions of Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt, Standard Deviations demystifies the science behind statistics and makes it easy to spot the fraud all around.

    Available Formats: Download

    Standard Deviations

    9.3 hrs • 6/1/16 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
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  4. 7.5 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    What is the secret to a stable marriage? How many gay people are still in the closet? Do we truly live in a post-racial society? Has Twitter made us dumber? These are just a few of the questions Christian Rudder answers in Dataclysm, a smart, funny, irreverent look at how we act when we think no one’s looking. For centuries we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers and without filters. Data scientists can quantify the formerly unquantifiable and show with unprecedented precision how we fight, how we age, how we love, and how we change. Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Rudder uses it to show us who we are as people. He reveals how Facebook “likes” can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more job interview requests; and why you have to have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? Hint: They don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel. Rudder also tracks human migration in real time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible. Provocative and illuminating Dataclysm is a portrait of our essential selves—and a first look at a revolution in the making.

    Available Formats: Download

    Dataclysm

    7.5 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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