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A Field Guide to Lies Audiobook

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Organized Mind and This Is Your Brain on Music, 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 best-selling 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, pseudofacts, 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. Listeners 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!

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Daniel J. Levitin (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (110 )
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  •  
    Dan Denver 12-11-16
    Dan Denver 12-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "This should be mandatory for everyone in the age of misinformation"

    Read my headline. This is basically an abridged lesson learned in information credibility that I got doing my Masters in Information Management. There's no bias and he does his best to cite examples from both sides.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Bruce Jones 12-06-16
    Bruce Jones 12-06-16
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    "Good Listen"

    I'd recommend to anyone who is looking to decipher all the noise from the facts.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Lauren Brazil 11-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Spectacular & Necessary in the Internet Age"

    Excellent breakdown of complex issues. Education on overcoming biases & fallacies of intuition is best started as early as possible, especially when kids are on the web so early in their lives. This should be a prerequisite read for anyone on the Internet. I'm shocked at how succinctly the author was able to explain extremely complex processes and statistical methods. Recommend the physical book to clarify graphs/charts/imagery over audio version, but it was still fantastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald MIAMI, FLORIDA, United States 11-17-16
    Ronald MIAMI, FLORIDA, United States 11-17-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Basics on how to spot bad argument or bad stats"

    Loved the refresher on stats "facts" and how they are manipulated.

    If you have never taken a good statistics class or if it's been a while it's a fast and clear refresher to spot how facts can be manipulated.

    I only give 5 stars now to books that blow my socks off.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew 01-21-17
    Drew 01-21-17 Member Since 2016

    My name is Drew |

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    "Meh"

    tl:dr

    +There is more than one way to look at things.

    +People lie all the time.

    +We need to take in new information on a regular bases but be careful about the source.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    john manning 04-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Well written I guess but pretty elementary"

    The title should probably be a little more clear about the audience this is targeting. I had bee expecting a thought provoking debate on the current state of media and fake news

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    JMcGivern 04-06-17
    JMcGivern 04-06-17 Member Since 2013
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    "A necessary read in an age of overwhelming info"

    A phenomenal title that draws attention to the myriad challenges and pitfalls presented by a world rich with information that is both good and bad. I challenge readers to consider what biases and misinformation may be present in this work. I imagine Levitin wouldn't want even this useful work to be read uncritically.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 02-16-17
    A 02-16-17
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    "Good book on statistics and critical thinking"

    This book is presented in a way that is easily manageable for the listener. Some of the mathematics and diagrams are harder to access with in the audio form, but not enough to make it not worth your time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Houten, Netherlands 12-19-16
    peter Houten, Netherlands 12-19-16 Member Since 2005
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    "Not the real daring eyeopener I hoped for"

    After a good start about statistics, to build credibility, the author continues to build the argument of authority that the NYT is a reliable source of information. He also emphasizes the government is more reliable as a source of information than commercial companies, because it lacks a profit motive (although I would not think so looking at my pay slip). But later he claims that politicians are lying since Roman times. And the government of Iran is not reliable source of information (although they also do not have a profit motive)
    He is a liberal and I can't find a lot of courageous, critical thinking considering who his peers are. No controversial lie within his peer group is exposed by this author.
    Peer review is also a strong plus for reliability according to him, although halve of peer reviewed research can not be replicated according to the replication crisis.

    I would argue that the false aura of reliability is exactly why scammers take something over as sufficiently proven by governments,academia and main stream media.

    He also tells us to look for who pays someone before believing their claims. I can not find a free market job in his CV. So I must assume his authorities are leaning towards government, academia and main stream media.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
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    lattetown Seattle, WA 03-16-17
    lattetown Seattle, WA 03-16-17

    I like books when they are read... To me with different voices for all the characters... By a talented author. ~Haiku

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    "Very good and practical book"

    Daniel Levitin wrote a very accessible book on how to find out if something is an alt fact.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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