Marginalia

If it doesn’t fit anywhere else, it’s here.

What data can’t do, and maths without numbers

The New Yorker reviews "The Data Detective" - a wonderful essay from Hannah Fry titled What Data Can't Do. Go for the anecdote about Tony Blair, stay for the phrase "insidious Kahnemanian swap". Book of the week: Math without Numbers by Milo Beckman. I picked this up...

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Invisible gorillas and indiscriminate doubt

What Conspiracy Theorists Don't Believe. I was delighted to be commissioned by The Atlantic to write about why indiscriminate doubt is at least as damaging as indiscriminate belief - and in particular, that a fruitful way to think about conspiracy theorists is not by...

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Misinformation can be beautiful

Chapter nine of "The Data Detective" / "How To Make The World Add Up" is all about data visualisation - its power, and its pitfalls. The overarching story is about how one woman launched a public health revolution, armed with a fancy pie chart. I'm fond of the chapter...

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Adam Grant on Thinking Again

I’m delighted to be sharing a publication day, 2 February, with Adam Grant and his new book, Think Again. Well, mostly delighted: that’s one fewer slot on the bestseller lists for me to aim for. Think Again is a stone cold classic and destined to do extremely well....

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