Several Levels of Fakery

Yep. Good start from Dylan. Some are more insidious than this though and searching Google isn’t enough for the more advanced fakery. It all comes down to same sort of sourcework you do in high school history. All this post does is augment Dylan’s. If you haven’t read Dylan’s post, read it and come back. It’s OK, I’ll wait :)

Whilst obvious lies are easy to spot, some are so advanced it’s difficult to determine their authenticity due to the requirement to have a baseline level of understanding in the topic of discourse.

I come across these very regularly. A recent episode appeared on Quora, where the propensity to trade was identified by a Brexiteer as GDP. GDP isn’t a measure of the propensity to trade. GDP is equivalent to the money you have left in your Bank account. Propensity, willingness and ability to trade is like your willingness to spend that money.

When the credibility of people like Mervyn King, ex-Governor of the Bank of England is attached to the false news, it adds credence to the false information, making it “more true” in the minds of Brexiteers. King is a Brexiteer and Lord. He is willing to attach his endorsement to this false report to encourage a higher level of credence to leaving.

In addition, the advisor panel for authors Civitas include 2 members of UKIP. The author of the report himself isn’t an academic and this report was not fully peer reviewed. It also failed an independent review. The two economic advisors of the panel are both members of UKIP. Whilst the vast majority of economists think Brexit is a bad idea, two of the core few that do not, made their way into reporting think tanks like Civitas, perhaps off the back of the “Ideological Diversity” that even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is advocating for.

This is a tough tough one to argue against without looking at the systemic effect. Local optima always seems like a good idea to the subjects within the sphere of discourse. Sadly, when applied systemically, the benefits disappear and indeed, may even reflect an effect on the very people it is optimised for.

As an example, Brexit resulted in a tank in the pound, which in turn resulted in an immediate rise in the price of imports and lowering of exports to foreign buyers. The result of this vote also triggered emigration, yet assumed economic benefit longer term. However, migration does not live in isolation. Some of the areas which are now seeing the impact are:

  • UK Doctor and Nurse numbers reducing making waiting lists longer
  • No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal — No Deal is the worst deal (this is something the cabinet has not thought about, as admitted by David Davis to the Parliamentary Select Committee)
  • Increased prices to shoppers

Filling in the the incomplete information here requires us to understand the feedback loop that exists through currency commodities, in this case, between the cost of imports affected by the drop in the pound. In addition, this is compounded by the fact that even if companies themselves made money from exports, employee salaries have not increased in line with the corresponding rise in cost of raw materials (20% — 30%). This makes such consumers poorer in real terms as they pay the extra import costs, from a salary which hasn’t moved.

Summary

There are so many ways fake news can come into your conscience. Each with varying levels of sophistication to try to fool varying levels of intellectual capability. The only way back is to obtain the raw data and crunch it yourself. The biggest problem is very few people have that sort of time, skill and inclination. Thus, as a population, we’re sitting ducks for companies and organisations that wish to damage our society.

Written by

EA, Stats, Math & Code into a fizz of a biz or two. Founder: Automedi & Axelisys. Proud Manc. Citizen of the World. I’ve been busy

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