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Archive for November, 2016

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

Now, apply this to yourself, rather than to journalists:

You hear somebody talk about some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You listen and realize the person has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, their argument is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect.
In any case, you continue to have strong opinions about subjects that *you* do not know as well, as if your views on these topics are more accurate than the baloney you just heard.

 

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