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Community Champion

Misinformation and the Australian fires

A number of major news sources have reported that 183 arsonists have been arrested in connection with the bushfires currently sweeping Australia.

 

The thing is, that number isn't true.  It's based on reports from News Corp, relying on a total figure from last year, not this.  Initially, this report was widely circulated by far right websites and personalities (including Donald Trump Jr.) since it undermines any assertion that global climate change is part of the issue.

 

This year 24 people have been arrested for setting fires, but the vast bulk of the larger and more dangerous fires have been sparked by lighting.

 

The fact that the 183 figure has been so widely disseminated in supposedly legitimate media is rather disturbing ...


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14 Replies
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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires


@rslade wrote:

...

The fact that the 183 figure has been so widely disseminated in supposedly legitimate media is rather disturbing ...


I think we should designate the process of preparing to replay such information as chack fecking, or maybe check facking.

 

Craig

Dr. D. Cragin Shelton, CISSP
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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires

We are in the Information age. Anybody can use any information they want to make their point, whether it is true or not.

 

The one thing I got from my 4 years of college to get my B.S. Degree came from my statistics class. It taught me that you can make whatever you want to say appear legitimate just by asking the right questions.

 

For example; If I ask this question "Do you think President (insert your country's leader here) is doing Great job or just an OK job?" No matter what option people choose I can claim that 100% of people surveyed support this president and think he/she is doing an adequate job. Then I can further expand on my point by claiming X number of percentage think he/she is doing a great job! 

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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires


@CISOScott wrote:

We are in the Information age. Anybody can use any information they want to make their point, whether it is true or not.

 

The one thing I got from my 4 years of college to get my B.S. Degree came from my statistics class. It taught me that you can make whatever you want to say appear legitimate just by asking the right questions.

 

For example; If I ask this question "Do you think President (insert your country's leader here) is doing Great job or just an OK job?" No matter what option people choose I can claim that 100% of people surveyed support this president and think he/she is doing an adequate job. Then I can further expand on my point by claiming X number of percentage think he/she is doing a great job! 


(Also see my Randomness Blog entry)

 

Every professional dealing with data should read the classic book

How to Lie With Statistics by Darrel Huff, 1954

 

Goodreads Reviews 

 

Lessons on How to Lie with Statistics  (July 2019 blog post)

 

Wikipedia entry

 

Internet Archive Free Download 

 

Order from Amazon

 

Summary notes

 

Craig

 

Dr. D. Cragin Shelton, CISSP
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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires

> CISOScott (Community Champion) posted a new reply in Industry News on 01-09-2020

 

> We are in the Information age. Anybody can use any information they want to make
> their point, whether it is true or not.

 

Not one single person that I asked agreed with your post.

 

 

 

(Is the fact that I didn't ask anyone relevant?)


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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires

I see what you did there...

If the voices in my head all agree with me does that mean we have a quorum?

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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires


@CISOScott wrote:

... my B.S. Degree ... taught me that you can make whatever you want to say appear legitimate... 


... chuckle....  Seems like a natural outcome from a degree in that field. ... (immature) chuckle....

 

But yea, your point is spot on.   And for people that answer "no", theirs is disregarded as non-responsive.

 

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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires


@CISOScott wrote:

I see what you did there...

If the voices in my head all agree with me does that mean we have a quorum?


No, only unanimity.

To confirm a quorum, all of your headvoices must be present.

 

\(*,*)/

 

Craig

Dr. D. Cragin Shelton, CISSP
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Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires

 

Thanks guys for enlightenment!  

 

I try to do the old three out of five trick to really get a handle on the truth... 

 

I usually can find up to five worldwide reputable resources that try very hard to tell it like it is.  

 

If all five are skewed I am screwed!

 

Yes it does take time to filter out the garbage but I really would like to know that I am getting some semblance of reality from this type of mission critical information.  

 

Not just a curmudgeon but an older one with lots of miles on the treads.  

 

Enjoying this community.  Thanks...  JohnG

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Community Champion

Re: Misinformation and the Australian fires

> CraginS (Advocate II) posted a new reply in Industry News on 01-10-2020 04:15 PM

> To confirm a
> quorum, all of your headvoices must be present.

According to RobertS's Rules of Imaginary Order, only two thirds of the voices
need to be present, and sometimes as few as five ...

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