Website design By BotEap.comWhat appears to be a form may turn out the opposite. Whatever you decide, someone else will disagree, and whatever point of view or position is taken, there is an opposite one that will easily be adopted by another, insisting as much as you that they are right and follow a line of truth. and precision. Website design By BotEap.com“Test it!” scientists say. “Convince me!” Says the skeptic. “I don’t see it that way at all,” shouts the cynic and the polemicist. Website design By BotEap.comA young child tells his first lie and gets away with it, creating his first effective illusion. By accurately representing something that is not what it is, you have discovered the illusion or the lie. A whole new world has opened before him. You no longer feel, you need the old skills to honestly explain, justify and convince, you can create an illusion or lie. As time passes, he becomes more skilled and sophisticated in his abilities and his parents have to counter his illusions with an increasingly firm understanding of their own realities and perception. Website design By BotEap.comOne adult chides and exposes another’s falsehood while firmly holding his own illusions in place … Politicians engage with each other and the electorate in “Find Me If You Can”, while perpetuating their own daily public illusions as the nation disintegrates slowly into a truthless void of public relations and a tabloid guessing game of “What’s going on?” Website design By BotEap.comLying versus lying. Deception versus deception. Illusion versus illusion. In short, lying is a deception, an alteration of time, place, form or event. A statement that something is different from what it really is. And we are all too touchy. Susceptible to lies, illusions and misrepresentations. Website design By BotEap.comILLUSION AND INNUMERATION Website design By BotEap.comCrime is by far the biggest victim of illiteracy and misrepresentation. Polls show that the public believes that crime in Britain is much worse than it really is. Advertising in the media, especially “horror” clips like those shown on ITV’s Crimestoppers, increases fear and leads older people and women to change their lives. Unable to understand the significance of an incident, they assume the worst and retreat to the fortress. Website design By BotEap.comThe terrorist knows this well. For a long time, he has seen the media as his great ally in playing with irrational fears. Two bombs in rapid succession constitute a “new offensive”. Being publicized, along with other similar crimes and credited with a “conspiracy”, this erects a building of horror in the public mind. Trips are canceled, jobs are lost, chaos is induced. Website design By BotEap.comIn Great Britain, per capita deaths of the population from accidents and violence have steadily declined over the last half century. Statistically, fear should be dropping as well. It is not. The greatest risk of violence British adults face does not come from strangers, the IRA or acts for God, but from those two family members, the car and the spouse. The latter, “the beloved”, is especially lethal. The kitchen is the favorite place for assault, knives and dishes are close at hand. But we are not aware enough of these facts to allow them to affect our lives. They are common places. We even pretend not to believe them. Website design By BotEap.comFEAR Website design By BotEap.comAIDS researcher exploits fear of unprotected sex to get more research money. Police exploit fear of dark streets to increase workforce and pay. Terrorists know that another bomb creates fear and makes people tired of the government’s inability. Everyone wants our money or our support. A toothpaste is said to cause “200% less cavities.” A politician “will not rest until most of our children are above average.” Website design By BotEap.comA story in Today states that “the number of women killed by men in their lives has increased from one third to almost half.” Website design By BotEap.comEach is based on our inability to establish fear in a statistical framework. Website design By BotEap.comAn academic estimates that the risk of a bomb on his plane is small, but the risk of two bombs is infinitesimal: so he always carries a bomb with him in his suitcase. Website design By BotEap.comTelevision and movies perpetuate the idea that any woman worthy of the name is five feet eight inches tall, slim, blonde, has a perfect body, and is capable of achieving full and multiple orgasms at will, at any time. anywhere and with anyone. With regard to the latter at least, surveys show that this is not the case with more than 75% of women. However, teenage girls are drawn to the myth with the result of high levels of stress. Website design By BotEap.comINABILITY Website design By BotEap.comCountlessness can be an infuriating waste. Credit cards do not need more than nine numbers in sequence, or even better, six letters (26 to the power of six is more than 300 million). Most have an infuriating 15 or higher. Website design By BotEap.comWe can laugh at the damn lies and statistics, but somehow the statistics continue when the laughter is dead. Website design By BotEap.comIt seems that we are unable to master simple number concepts, but how devastating the impact of this failure is on our ordinary lives. Website design By BotEap.comBluntly, we cannot count. A disability as serious as illiteracy becomes, curiously, a source of shame. The illiteracy that we hide. Website design By BotEap.comIf we can’t read, spell, or quote Jane Austen and Dickens novels, we keep a decent silence. But publicly boast of our countlessness with pride. “I had no hope in math … it’s no use asking me about fractions … I can barely count to 10 ha ha.” Website design By BotEap.comAs primitive (and not so primitive) humans, we look for coincidences and parallels where they don’t exist. It seems that we need the assurance of pseudosciences, astrology, “analysis,” ley lines, and tarot cards, to explain the strange or distressing. Website design By BotEap.comWe abuse mathematics itself with crazy numerology. Website design By BotEap.comBut what worries us most is our ignorance of probability theory, our inability to handle proportion and risk. We lose our judgment. We cannot filter information obtained from newspapers and broadcasting and put it into context. Since weirdness leads to publicity, weird events come to seem commonplace. We want to have fun, get excited, surprise ourselves. Some of us can read quality newspapers, but we all have tabloid minds. Website design By BotEap.comDISTORTION Website design By BotEap.comThis leads to a grotesque distortion in our response to events. Forty deaths on the roads is not news. Forty dead on a boat is a public scandal and the government must act. Website design By BotEap.comSmoking-related deaths in America are now the equivalent of three loaded jumbo jets that crash every day. One statistic bores us, the other would scare us away. (The same goes for drunk drivers in Britain). Website design By BotEap.comA famous death from AIDS spreads through the newspapers; stars appear on stage asking for funds. Alzheimer’s disease or kidney failure ruin the lives of many more people. In my opinion, they deserve more charitable support. Sadly, they are less rare, less exotic, and have nothing to do with sex. Website design By BotEap.comOnly an innumerable number could seriously believe that America’s Strategic Defense Initiative would ever do what television cartoons show. Website design By BotEap.comA true numeraire would dispense with long-term weather forecasting, lie detection tests, Treasury inflation forecasts, and lotteries. The chances of error are too great or the probabilities too high. A numbered one would also keep lawyers away from accident investigations. Attorneys are trained to judge the absolutes, guilt, and innocence, rather than the subtle gradations of risk familiar to managers struggling with day-to-day problems. Website design By BotEap.comThe “rampant stupidity” of pseudoscience, the abuse of logic, and the lack of clear thinking about political priorities are rife. Website design By BotEap.comWe do not need more data, but a better ability to understand what we have.