Almost 6 decades ago, folks could have told me to shut up. (OK. They did. I didn’t listen. I still don’t.)
So, I was driving home from a business trip and got caught in a snow squall. Which, except for a very brief flurry session (which left my trees covered in white- but the streets and sidewalks clean as a whistle), it had been the only snow I’ve seen this winter. (Our temperatures have actually been in the 60s and 70s- in February and now also in March!)
This fake news phenomenon (this is the third and final installment of our current discussion; here are one and two) is related to the majority of folks’ inability to deal with cognitive dissonance. The stress we feel when we are confronted with data that is (diametrically or less so) opposed to the strongly held beliefs and ideas that we harbor internally. As such, we are more willing to accept fake news that doesn’t confront our beliefs- even if we suspect the “facts” have been uttered by Kelly Ann Conway (as in “alternative facts”).
Have you seen this video? More than 1.5 million folks have! USA Today is warning us that our boarding passes have lots of information that can put us at risk. But, USA Today started a trend. CBS News posted the same data. NBC, too. Among many others . OK. You get the picture.
Gas is cheap. The economy is doing better. And, that means we are driving more often.
And, we’re probably driving more sloppily. Which is why last year, some 40,000 of us perished in auto crashes. After years of declining deaths, the trend has been reversed. Oh, sure, folks said the improving crash data was a result of better, safer cars. But, given last year’s data, I would venture that we’ve once again used correlation and not causation to reach (bad) conclusions.