Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two nations united by a common irrationality

My friend Chip Clark in the USA sent me this link demonstrating how people can believe something with a total disregard for the facts, even when it's as simple as "Have taxes gone up or down?" And when I say "people" I don't just mean Americans: I'm sure a similarly embarrassing poll could be conducted here. Why do you think I link to the Europol terrorism statistics every year which show the tiny proportion of terrorist attacks, even non-fatal ones, with any link to Islamic terror groups? And more recently to the similar statistics from the FBI for the USA? Yet because people like Tony Blair say so, thousands of otherwise sensible people are convinced that Islamic fundamentalism is the biggest threat facing humanity.

Bollocks.

But once a myth has taken hold, even publicising the facts won't necessarily shake it. See here for a study where researchers first planted false rumours about the proposed Park51 Centre in New York, then demonstrated that the rumours were false by providing evidence.

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