Tag Archives: Hate

Science Says This is the Best Way to Persuade Someone Who's Wrong (Jeff Bezos Will Hate It)
June 17, 2018 6:11 pm|Comments (0)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

In today’s America, we tend to feel gray areas are a touch passé.

You’re either right or you’re wrong. And if you can’t see which you are, then you’re two slices short of a sandwich.

How, though, can you even begin to persuade someone who’s mistaken — or even worse, vehemently disagrees with you?

A new study makes a curious suggestion, one that won’t please everyone.

The study, conducted by Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College and Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter, is entitled The roles of information deficits and identity threat in the prevalence of misperceptions.

They’re very polite about the fountains of knowledge pouring into today’s humans.

“Why do so many Americans hold misperceptions?” the researchers ask. 

To which I reply: “Why do many Americans now put mis in front of pleasant words, instead of calling them that they really are? Lying has become misspeaking? Oh, I don’t think it has.”

Anyway.

Nyhan and Reifler come to a startling, even painful conclusion: “In three experiments, we find that providing information in graphical form reduces misperceptions. A third study shows that this effect is greater than for equivalent textual information.”

Yes, if you want to persuade your half-cut, halfwitted neighbor or colleague about the parlous state of the world and the dangers of fascism/socialism/democracy/self-help books, your best bet is to show them a chart.

Worse, it seems that a chart is better than even text. Goodness, is that where I’ve been going wrong all my life?

I can, though, already see Jeff Bezos’s eyes rolling into the back of his head and emerging with a very red hue.

As the Amazon CEO explained in his latest letter to shareowners: “We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos. We silently read one at the beginning of each meeting in a kind of ‘study hall.'”

So no slides or charts and graphics for Bezos. All he wants is a short story. Could he, perhaps, misperceive the benefits of charts? 

Still, charts surely can’t be so effective, otherwise everyone would have tried them. 

Moreover, it’s not as if you can create a chart to describe every false belief. How, for example, do you create a chart for a CEO who simply thinks his touch and feel is always right?

Nyhan and Reifler explain that a considerable reason why people hold on to false information is purely psychological. It confirms their world view.

“On high-profile issues, many of the misinformed are likely to have already encountered and rejected correct information that was discomforting to their self-concept or worldview,” they say.

Yes, but it’s not as if that nice man on CNN with his Election Night charts has ever persuaded many people, is it?

Expect, though, the rising stars in many companies now rushing to create charts in order to show that they’re right and their brain-manacled bosses are wrong. 

Expect, too, that American politics will now be revolutionized with the presentation of definitive charts of right and wrong.

You think I’m wrong about that? 

Send me a chart to show me why.

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Hate Pages Banned as Reddit Tightens Rules on Violent Content
October 29, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

But broadened rules might be hard for the small company to enforce.

Reddit, a large internet community that has sometimes been accused of incubating hate groups, announced on Wednesday that its content policy would become more restrictive. Several pages dedicated to hateful speech or ideologies were quickly banned.

Reddit’s new policy was outlined in statements on the site’s Help page and on a message board for the volunteer moderators of the site’s thousands of community pages, known as subreddits. The change expands a prior ban on “inciting” violence to include “any content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or group of people” or against animals.

The broadened restrictions seem intended, in part, to tamp down on hate groups and racist ideology on the site. The New York Times reported that at least three subreddits were swiftly banned after the announced changes: r/NationalSocialism, r/Nazi, and r/Far_Right.

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Reddit has previously banned a number of subreddits, particularly those glorifying or enabling sexual crimes or targeted harassment. But the latest wave of shutdowns comes amid a broader move away from free-speech absolutism on platforms including Twitter and Facebook, both of which have announced plans to further restrict content considered hateful.

Those efforts have shown mixed results, and Reddit’s new approach is likely to be even more constrained, simply because of the company’s size. Reddit was recently valued at $ 1.8 billion, compared to around $ 16 billion for Twitter and $ 516 billion for Facebook. Facebook employs thousands of content screeners, while Reddit’s entire staff numbers fewer than 300.

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Watchmaker: Don't hate, appreciate Cloud Computing's Preakness win
June 11, 2017 7:05 am|Comments (0)

BALTIMORE – It will take no time for folks to belabor the point that Cloud Computing got an absolutely perfect trip in his upset victory in Saturday’s …


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There’s a new reason to hate Coachella
March 13, 2017 9:40 am|Comments (0)

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You know the drill by now: A website was hacked, personal information may have been stolen, and now a company will have to make promises about the future of its cybersecurity. The target this time? Folks who have accounts on the website of music festival Coachella. 

On Feb. 22, Motherboard reported someone was selling data—including hashed passwords, usernames and email addresses—on 950,000 Coachella.com accounts. Nearly a week later, concert-promoter Goldenvoice sent an email to account holders to let them know.  Read more…

More about Passwords, Usernames, Email, Hack, and Coachella


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Haters Gonna Hate, But Apple’s AirPods Are A Huge Hit
January 13, 2017 10:40 pm|Comments (0)

Most people laughed, but it turns out Apple’s wireless earphones are a massive hit


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