Data, Disinformation, and the Art of Skepticism

The Open Mind explores the world of ideas across politics, media, science, technology, and the arts. The American Prospect is republishing this edited excerpt.

Alexander Heffner: You are author of the new book called Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World.

Carl Bergstrom: My colleague Jevin West, the co-author on the book, and I had seen information, particularly quantitative information being misused to try to confuse people.  We’ve come into a world where data is so important in decision-making and presented so centrally in the public sphere. But we felt like we needed help people take on data being presented [as] disinformation: the BS being presented in the form of statistics or facts and figures [and] data graphics.

Heffner: I’m going to use malarkey as our BS for the purpose of this conversation—and also because one of our leading presidential candidates loves to employ that word malarkey. So

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Why QuantSpark Believes Data Is An Art As Well As A Science

“The future of the economy depends on data and analytics,” argues entrepreneur Adam Hadley, the founder and CEO of the data consultancy QuantSpark. The trouble is, he argues, too many of those who evangelise about the power of turning data into insight aren’t terribly good at delivering commercial advice that is genuinely actionable.

That warning will resonate with many companies that have drunk the data Kool-aid, often at great expense, only to be presented with a seemingly endless array of dashboards and decks. Translating that intelligence into competitive advantage – earning a return on the investment, in other words – often proves tricky.

It is this issue that QuantSpark set out to confront, Hadley explains. To be of any use, data consultancy has to offer a combination of strategy – understanding the business and its problems – and technical capability – providing solutions to those problems through data science and

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The Science Zone teaches Idea Lab students STEM and art with 3D printers

CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – The new three-dimensional printer at the science zone roars to life making a cat that can hold a teabag. This is the second printer The Science Zone has. An educator says the possibilities are endless.



a desktop computer sitting on top of a desk: The Science Zone debuts it's Snapmaker 2


© Provided by Cheyenne-Scottsbluff KGWN-TV
The Science Zone debuts it’s Snapmaker 2

“Kids are working on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign and printing miniatures and terrain,” said Darcie Gudger, the Idea Lab educator and coordinator.

She adds they hope to print chess pieces next.

Their new machine is called Snapmaker two which can 3D print, burn wood and engrave with a laser. This technology is used in lots of different fields.

“Educators use it because you can print educational materials or games and puzzles,” Gudger said.

She wants to use this technology to give students lots of creative freedom.

“I have one student that’s interested in 3D printing model

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Ars Electronica Festival Expanded Online To Connect Art, Science And Technology

Since 1979, the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria brings together artists, scientists, engineers and a curious public. This year seemed no different. The exhibits, performances, workshops, talks, and discussions attracted thousands of visitors and hundreds of artists to the main festival sites in the city of Linz. Still, this year was different. Due to the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions, many people weren’t able to visit Linz in person. But fittingly for an arts and technology festival, Ars Electronica found a creative digital solution.

Certain parts of the festival were available via online video channels and attendees could connect in digital hubs. The channels not only broadcast some of the events in Linz, but also gave a platform to various science art sites around the world.

It’s difficult to make virtual events engaging. Attendees will never have the same sense of connection and the feeling of “being there” as if

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The First Ever Da Vinci Fest Live, A Celebration Of Art And Science, Comes To Philadelphia This October

The event is held October 22 through October 29, 2020.

The First Ever Da Vinci Fest Live, A Celebration Of Art And Science, Comes To Philadelphia This October

The Da Vinci Art Alliance has announced details for their first ever Da Vinci Fest Live, a celebration of art and science, coming to Philadelphia from October 22 through October 29, 2020. Through online programs for adults and youth, installed exhibitions, a competitive Derby race, an art-market, and a brand new mural, Da Vinci Fest Live showcases the innovation, diversity, and artistry that makes Philadelphia so vibrant. Famous for paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, Da Vinci also possessed a genius for technology, astronomy, engineering, botany, and more. With the collaboration of local partners, Da Vinci Fest Live celebrates how creativity manifests itself at the intersection of disciplines through online experiences, exhibitions, and creative activities for the public. Originally planned as an in-person festival and then upgraded to include interactive virtual experiences, everyone can participate in

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MOCA Engages Youth And Families With Free Virtual Art Education Programs This September

Programs include Virtual Teen Art Force, MOCA miniMAKERS and more.

Serving youth ages one through 18, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) is ensuring that kids stay connected to the arts with an array of free, creative art programs for the family. Programs include Virtual Teen Art Force, MOCA miniMAKERS and Sunday Stories. MOCA recognizes the need to enrich the cultural life of the community and connect with the community.

Virtual Teen Art Force

MOCA Teen Art Force is a one-of-a-kind, free, multidisciplinary art program that provides students with a foundation in the visual arts. Classes include a wide range of techniques including drawing, textile design, sculpture and printmaking. Registered students may choose one class per week, or all five, and are eligible for free art supplies available through contact-less pick up.

Cost: Free

Time: 4-6 p.m.

Ages: 13-17

Dates: Monday-Friday, Oct. 1-Dec. 18

How: For more information

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