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April 28, 2010

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The other e-mail I would like to see someone debunk is the one showing colorful icebergs, purported sometimes to come from Antarctica, and other times from the the Great Lakes, and to show "waves" frozen by the frigid temperatures, usually also tagged with the "coldest winter in recent history" line. Anyone else get that one?

Yup - another gem, indeed!

And, on a similar topic, I've been suffering lately from idiotic comments posted on random entries in my blog from the likes of "air jordans", nike, and sundry pharmaceutical purveyors - is anyone else experiencing this?

Thanks Michael for debunking some of the shrill, mindless propoganda that unfortunately is prevalent on the internet. A friend of mine uses Scopes.com to check the validity of many of these questionable and mostly provacative emails. Most are exaggerations and distortions of facts or out right lies. To me these emails are just another example of the sickness that infests the USA...denial of reality and denial of personal responsibility for our actions.

good one Michael... how frustrating it is to be confronted with this idiocy and anti-intellectualism, unfortunately it is becoming an all too common feature of public discourse everywhere..

Good analysis. I haven't received this chain mail, but I wish there were similar breakdowns of all the ones I did get!

Not that this post will make any difference in reality - but thanks for the comments, I appreciate confirmation that I'm not the only one.....

I was reading in the Guardian newspaper today, here in the UK, one of the always-entertaining "Bad Science" columns by Ben Goldacre. In this one, talking about the efficacy of election "smears" (a topic not confined to the UK!), he reports on some research published this month in the journal "Political Behaviour" (I'd like to see another journal titled "Political Misbehaviour"). The conclusion: "All the studies found the same thing: if a dodgy fact fits with your prejudices, a correction only reinforces these. If your goal is to move opinion, this depressing finding suggests that smears work and, what's more, corrections don't challenge them much: because for people who already agree with you, it only make them agree even more." So I guess ranting in the name of reason and the facts is an exercise in futility.

(see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/01/bad-science-election-smears)

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