CJ Research
Fact Busting Jacket

Fact Busting

Spin, Spam, and Identifying Truth in the Information Society

CJ Research

9 Chapters 246 pp

Keywords: Social Facts, Scientific Facts, Factoids

Special Internet Price: $15.00

For most of us, the modern world is a mind-numbing morass of facts and figures, claims and counter-claims. We are bombarded with these facts in "fair and balanced" television news programs, internet sites, government reports, and testimonials by the alleged authorities. Increasingly, statistical facts (in the form of numbers, graphs, and/or charts) are used by journalists, politicians, and advocacy groups to summarize patterns and trends in human behavior.

Unfortunately, what counts as a "fact" in the modern world is now a fuzzy mess. This is especially true of social facts (i.e., truth claims about human behavior). Some of these truth claims are scientific facts (i.e., true states of knowledge that have been verified by rigorous scientific study) and some are fiction (i.e., false states of knowledge or information). Between these realms of fact and fiction is a wide range of half-truths, unverified assertions based on dubious science, and speculations that may ultimately turn out to be true or false. This middle or gray area is often called factoids (i.e., small tidbits of information that become accepted as fact, although they may not be true).

This book is designed to hone the reader's skills at "fact busting". The basic assumption underlying this book is that a rudimentary knowledge of argumentative styles and "good practices" in scientific inquiry has become increasingly important as consumers navigate through the factoid-frenzy of modern society. When informed consumers have the skills of the fact buster, they can make correct decisions about the accuracy of these various truth claims in everyday life. Hopefully, after reading this book, the reader will acquire a deeper understanding of these simple, basic skills and use them to become a more informed consumer in today's society.

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