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unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation Paperback – April 24, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Starting out with the first snake oil salesman making outrageous claims, to political advertisements by republicans and democrats, by Bush and Kerry, we learn that virtually none of them can be trusted because they appeal to our biases, our perception, our experiences, and cynicism with words that are open to interpretation such as clinically tested, larger, better, more people trust or use..., on average, and other caveats that deserve closer scrutiny. (I've also added to the list: "Read with an open mind," and "Only for those who can be objective").
If that isn't bad enough, the authors show us how our personal experiences and eyewitness accounts can be manipulated by others and by our own biases. For example, when subjects were shown two lines of differing lengths, they often reported that the shorter one was longer, once they learned that everyone else (supposedly) had selected the shorter line. An even better one is the neighboring review: One, who has made his conservative feelings clear, felt that there was more "left favoring" bias to this book. A commenter said that he felt there was more "right-favoring" bias.Read more ›
The authors also think that "bipartisanship" is the simple act of critiquing both major political parties, when it would be more useful to critique the system that creates partisanship altogether; while they often recommend that you look at "both" sides of a story, displaying the same systematic tendency of assuming that there are only two ways (left wing vs. right wing) of looking at any complex issue.. Also annoying is the specific recommendation not to assume that one example of spin is a widespread trend.Read more ›
Overall, this book is a staple on anyone's desk. It should be required reading for high school and college students.
Actually, no, I wasn't. But it seems too many people are unaware of the degree to which they are being "spun" and the ways in which the facts are being distorted to create a particular impression.
The authors have written a clear, concise, and direct treatise on the subject. This should be required reading for all citizens in this country, and probably also should be taught in the schools. They have organized their discourse into several sections:
* Warning signs of trickery - Seven key warning signs that one is being "spun."
* Tricks - Eight proven tricks used against the public.
* Rules for How to be Sure - Nine invaluable rules to follow when trying to sort fact from fiction.
Each of these signs, tricks, and rules is illustrated with revealing and amusing tales of successful flim-flam.
Between the Tricks and the Rules are excellent chapters on the psychological reasons we fall for such tricks, techniques for avoiding falling for hoaxes, and a clear argument that facts can save your life.
Some, such as William Lutz in "Doublespeak" (1989), have exposed the techniques used and inveighed against them.
Others, such as Farhad Manjoo in "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society" (2008), have addressed some of the psychological reasons and methods people manage to avoid reasoning based on the facts.
Jackson and Jamieson have cut to the chase and offered a clear and concise manual for understanding the techniques used and making oneself proof against them
This book is a must-read and a real "keeper."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Needed this for a class on media literacy. Great informational text. Easy read as wellPublished 16 days ago by Debbie Toppin
Very interesting easy read. Information the average person knows but tends to overlook of have obscured as they are spun by the crafted words of ads, politicians, salespeople, and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by smath3
I read this book because it was on the "recommended reading" list of the old syllabus of a Media Literacy class I'm going to be teaching in the fall. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Tom T.
I would rate the book a 4 or 5. The seller rated the condition of the book "Very Good" which was highly inflated - a book with 185 pages of text had writing or bright... Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by P. Mulloy
An excellent book on seperating fact from urban legend, myth and nonsense. Highly recommended for anyone interested in seperating fact from fiction in the age of computer... Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by Darlene M. Petri
Opens your eyes to the (not so) "obvious"!! Highly insightful with great examples and anecdotes explaining each concept presented in a memorable and graspable manner. Read morePublished on December 20, 2013 by Bett Zamparelli
Heard about on NPR and found full of good facts, ideas. Not exciting reading, of course, but good and recommended reading.Published on December 6, 2013 by Amy F.