Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Debunk It!

Debunk It!

YA nonfiction
"Yet the huge army of people who're trying to persuade us that
climate change is nothing to worry about are telling us we should
ignore the warnings of 98 percent of the world's climate scientists.
And they're telling us that media bloviators and dentists can do
just as good a job of climate science as climate scientists can.
What kind of lunatics do they think we are?"
John Grant's Debunk It!: How To Stay Sane In A World Of
Misinformation (the source of the above quote) is one of those books
libraries should keep in their YA and adult adult sections. The teens
to whom the book is targeted are a perfect readership. They've just
passed through one of the largest cognitive shifts in human
development with a great increase in analytical and abstract thinking
ability. They also love to acquire the skills to rip apart
hypocracies and logical fallicies perpetrated by the older
generations. But let's be honest. Many adult adults who have been
out of school more years than we were in have let our reasoning
abilities slide. There is a lot of misinformation making the rounds,
some of which can be very hazardous to our health and that of our
planet. Debunk It! is a perfect refresher class.
Basically Grant is out to boost your critical thinking skills
or, in his words, build your own bullshitometer. He shows us some of
the weaknesses in our thought processes and warns us about how people
and groups can exploit them to get us to think, spend money, and vote
the way they want us to...even when it is counter to our best
interests. What makes the book come alive (rather than stay
textbooky) is that the contexts in which he sets his examples are
current controversies such as opposition to certainty about climate
change, Holocaust denial, and the antivaccination movement.
In a highly affordable paperback edition, Debunk It! is a must
read in an election year where misinformation is flying around like
black flies up here in Maine in a couple of months.
On a personal note, today is World Water Day. Clean drinking water is
nothing we can take for granted. A lot of kids die too early for lack
of it. Girls who have to spend hours lugging water can't go to
school. But, as the Flint, Michigan situation shows us, here in the
United States people are vulnerable too.
A great big shout out goes out to all who work to secure clean
drinking water for everyone as the basic human right it needs to be
seen as.
Jules Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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