Pay to lead a double life. Viewed from the outside they look simple, sober, precise, and is therefore particularly trustworthy. It doesn’t but what’s behind it: what are the findings, what are the sources of – and, above all, what are the intentions. Certain Numbers, such as that given to the daily violence against the Doctors or to the amount of the alleged “diesel stay dead”, it is better in memory than words, and therefore some of the wrong Numbers will have a long life. Often spirits, such as Zombies by the media, the web, and talks, and if the findings themselves have long since been disproved.

This article acknowledges, therefore, with Figures that moved in the year 2018, the Public, even though they were wrong or not reliable, even though they were misinterpreted, or twisted. He is garbage in the year in review.

This is not as simple as it sounds. Because it is much more difficult to create something from the world, as it is to you. In the researchers ‘ jargon, spoken: “The amount of energy needed to Bullshit to refute, is ten times as large as the energy needed to produce it.” Has formulated these set the Italian programmer Alberto Brandolini. And as a “Brandolinis law” has made it, the Bullshit asymmetry principle in the science journal Nature.

This article dates back to the TIME no 50/2018. Here you can read the entire issue.

ten Times as much energy for the elimination of nonsense as for its dissemination – which can, of course, only a rough estimate. Because even the largest application does not guarantee the disposal of success. The to find researchers in many studies, above all Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia. Among the psychologists he is the disposal of an expert. And Lewandowsky came to the conclusion: “no Matter how vigorously and how often we correct a misinformation, for example, by the position of repeat to the right several times – their influence remains undetectable.” Yes, the wrong thing to refute, can it Vera in the minds of even stronger core, as Tests have shown. The brain itself, but also due to the fact that you can make when you Correct something wrong.

this is Why Lewandowsky has written, together with the cognitive researcher John Cook, a guide and a refutation of, The Debunking Handbook. So your most important tips for the information garbage collection:

wrong and not repeat – If you take out the false information in the correction once again, it is familiar. And Familiar people, quite unintentionally, more likely to be true. In addition, the context of the retrieval from the memory easily (“That’s not true!”) lost. Then one is reminded, although in the Wrong, but not to its falsity. It shows a test person, for example, incorrect information and explain the error, it happens not rarely that you will remember the Information some time later. Clearly warn Any Info-trash woman, every Info-garbage man, therefore, is faced with the Dilemma: How something is not correct, you speak the best? Lewandowsky and Cook to at least give the correct Information, only then is the wrong. And: is particularly clear that this is true. In the Experiment, Lewandowsky was able to show that an explicit warning can at least cause people to be less on the wrong exit. You can’t prevent it, however. Gap to fill – Because the label “goes wrong”, lost in the memory as easily, you should also provide the necessarily information, which can take the place of the wrong. The defused is also a further Problem: If Information is revealed as false, remains a small gap in the head. And that makes the return is due. “People prefer a faulty image to a gap”, says Lewandowsky. The best way to replace wrong information, of course, by right. The are not (yet) available, also helps in the explanation of why something is wrong – and who has it why in the world.

about garbage disposers have no very simple Job. But researchers have also found out, what helps in any case: good relations. A study with corrections on Twitter showed that users accepted adjustments if you have followed the relevant facts checkers or this you. So friends and Acquaintances can play an important role in the Bullshit elimination. You have a lot of people tend to say something.

If you encounter so soon in a conversation with friends on one of the following Numbers: Please properly dispose of!

Summary: the tap water rise in prices – the number on a false Basis violence against Doctors, which almost quadrupled the number of Deaths due to air pollution – the acute number The extent of the insect’s death – the over-interpreted, dotted How filthy cruise ships are – the-Pi-times-thumb-number Deaths due to antibiotic resistance – the arg projected number of the tap water prices rise the number on a false Basis

tap water has become more expensive. So very briefly, that’s true spoken. In more detail, one would have to say that The national average water has become over a certain period of time is more expensive – but only a bit. Of this message, but have taken no one note.

Omnipresent strong numbers, however, was in the middle of may moderate message: To 25 percent of the price of tap water has risen, claimed to be the consumer expert for the parliamentary group of the Greens, Markus Tressel.

their way into the public’s attention was this number, as do many of the political Figures, the “Pre-path”. Because journalists are more likely to report on studies and papers, if you get this as First, politicians (as well as researchers, lobbyists, and co.) their Numbers are often “in advance” a single editorial, for example, of the TIME. In this case, Tressel gave his water analysis in advance of the Saarbrücker Zeitung . The message: Because of manure and other Filth in the tap water will be more expensive. The analysis, told the reader, based on the latest Figures from the Federal Statistical office and refer to the period from 2005 to 2016. Then Tressel was allowed to require stricter rules for manure, pesticides and drugs in agriculture, “to protect drinking water as our most important food”.

still night-time, the Saarbrücker Zeitung sent on 11. May, a Friday, the message, the acquisitions, in turn, several news agencies and many other editors. On television and on many Websites, the message in the course of the day. Then, the Federal Statistical office reported: “The statement that drinking water is becoming more expensive”, was “not tenable”. In fact, Tressels analysis was based simply on a wrong Basis; if you look in the right statistics, from 2005 to 2016 in the national average, an increase of 17.6 percent. In comparison to the increase in all consumer prices in the period of the tap water are just one and a half percent more.

On Saturday, the day after the headlines, published the Green correction. Also, many news articles have been corrected. Anyone looking for now, then, finds the correct bill. Greater attention to the wrong.

Stefan Schmitt

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violence against Doctors, which almost quadrupled the number of

Of the “alarming results” of the languages the Doctors associations: In may, they shocked the Public with a survey among physicians and how often they have experienced in their practice of violence. The result, the kassenärztliche bundesvereinigung (KBV) and the NAV-Virchow-Bund, published shortly before the clinic of this type, seemed to be on an enormous brutalization of the patient indicate. Promptly a lot of the media seized on the survey, and also the Minister of health, Jens Spahn indignant at the clinic of this type to the public about violence against Doctors.

First precise Research of the TIME revealed this: The of the medical associations in the world number was wrong ( TIME no. 21/18). In fact, it 75 times per working day to physical attacks or threats in German doctor’s offices (and not to 288 incidents, as reported). Now 75 cases sound quite a lot. If one relates this figure, however, all encounters between Physicians and patients in Germany: Only at 0.0015 percent of all the contacts in German doctor’s offices to violence.

the TIME to Research confronted, admitted the spokesman for the CBD, the Roland Stahl, “In our quick calculations, we have determined a high number.” The statistics had necessarily to up to the clinic of this type, in order to generate attention. The evaluator mistook, however, the sub-group of those Doctors who had at some point made in your practice, activity, experience with physical violence, simply with the total number of Doctors surveyed. So the four times higher, incorrect number.

After they had been alerted to the error, exchanged the Doctors associations, the number in their press releases, discreetly, but without the correction and without changing anything else. To date, the speech is in the messages of the “alarming results”. The most prominently presented result is only a quarter of the original alarm value, they do not know the reader.

Stefanie Kara

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Deaths due to air pollution – the acute number

“diesel is dead” – this word you should resist, if you call at the Federal environment Agency (UBA). Otherwise it will be a little louder at the other end. “We have never spoken of diesel dead or written!” Thus, the scientists from the UBA law. But the office has set the number in the world, which served as the Basis for the escalation of the “diesel is dead”. The tag is wrong, the choice of the number at least questionable.

researchers had estimated in the order of the UBA, how harmful nitrogen dioxide. To their study, the UBA in March a press release. Very prominent, already in the third set, was presented in the following size: the number of “premature deaths were caused by cardiovascular diseases”, statistically “to the NO2 Background pollution in rural and urban areas”. From this also correct, such as complicated description of the “diesel is dead”, first in a picture’s comment quickly, the word spread quickly.

This tag is already wrong, because not only are diesel cars NOx emissions. More important, however: As the size of the premature deaths among statisticians and epidemiologists are controversial because their validity is limited (TIME, no. 12/18). So everyone is Dead, whether he dies in 30 years or five days more, than it promises to its life expectancy, in the same way in the statistics.

professionals prefer to use a different, significantly more meaningful size, the years of life lost. This is the difference between the life expectancy and the age at death. In the study, also you can see: cardiovascular diseases, which are due to the NO2, costing in Germany about 50,000 years of life in the year 2014. Based on well over 80 million inhabitants would be on average: about eight hours lost per capita per year. Doesn’t sound so dramatic? In the Public, the UBA was not wearing this figure – instead, it reported “about 6000 premature deaths”.

Who asks for a good half a year later, at the UBA, whether they’d act again, so that gets a lengthy answer in writing. Summarized: Germany wanted To continue to use Figures on premature deaths – because they are less abstract. But: “Once more to the UBA approach has been taken that also the number of years of life lost is quite understandable, we will consider this measure more in our communication.” – The dramatic number from March, but remains in the world. She still appears in the media, in October, about in the mirror and in the süddeutsche Zeitung. After all, the speech was not of the “diesel is dead”.

Jan Schweitzer

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The extent of the insect’s death – the over-interpreted, dotted number

Not-a-number has in the recent past, more attention to the types of loss aroused as this: 75 percent of the biomass of flying insects in protected areas in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Brandenburg within 27 years. These number is two digits short alarm signal from the “Krefelder study”, which made 2017 headlines (see no. 44/17) and 2018 political effect: In the summer, the Federal government decided to take measures for insect protection, in the autumn, an action programme of the Ministry of environment was added, equipped with several million euros.

the word “insects die”, is pretty sure soon this number. This, however, is the fact that it is often interpreted, incorrectly, in the Bundestag, in Newspapers, on television. It is often said, you show the decrease of the species diversity in insects. It is often applied to the whole of Germany. Both is not true. Determined the entomological society of Krefeld has only the total weight of all the flying (!) Insects that were caught in certain protected areas in specially prepared Traps. What are the types of this “biomass” was, was not investigated.

What is true, however: Other sources indicate that the diversity of insects – such as the Red lists. As a occasion, against the insects loss of tackle, would be enough. A frightening number of them, however, is not scarce. Stir the over-interpreted, dotted number from Krefeld attracted in the first place.

From there, by the way, in the autumn of this year, the first results of the species Mix in the Fall. It is only now that the data show that The diversity seems to be disappearing really.

Fritz Habekuß

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How dirty cruise ships are – the-Pi-times-thumb-number

cruise ships to blow things up in the air: sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and carbon dioxide. How much dirtier they are than other means of transport – for example, cars? It is circulating a response to it in the form of a number that comes from the naturschutzbund Deutschland (Nabu). In the campaign, “it stinks to Me – for a clean cruise ship” had claimed the Nabu once: “A single Ocean liner launches on a cruise as many pollutants as five million Cars on the same track.” This number appeared also in 2018, repeatedly in Public, such as a numeric revenants, and the zombie. But it is equally wrong for two reasons.

The various pollutants can not just in a pot throw, and drop the comparisons quite different from how the Nabu itself is calculated: A cruise ship crashes as much CO2 as 84,000 of cars, but as much sulphur dioxide as 376 million. The propagated five million cars do not appear in the data. “The number we have weighted according to the importance of the pollutants roughly as a sum of determined”, explained Dietmar Oily, head of the Nabu Department for transport policy, in the past year (TIME no. 36/17). Not an exact calculation, but a rule of thumb estimate.

in Addition , the Nabu had not compared the pollutants on the same route, but per day. However, per day, a cruise ship travels, which is often several Hundred kilometres, an average German car, but only 36. On average, one and a half passengers sitting in the car, on the boat up to 9000. In terms of passenger kilometres, the comparison of the number shrinks for this reason: Because you end up quickly in less than a hundred cars instead of several million. To re-demand is no longer asserted Oily, “With the number of five million, we operate today, actually.” Actually? On the Website of the Nabu, she finds herself still. The technical reasons for this, says the conservationist. “You would have to actually, the entire set of data to sift through, but I have other things to do, than to correct three years old.”

Dirk Asendorpf

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Deaths due to antibiotic resistance – the arg projected number

90-year-old has become the Penicillin of this year. On 3. September 1928 was discovered by the Scottish doctor Alexander Fleming. For the anniversary, but also the warning of the spread of resistant germs – bacteria, i.e., those with Penicillin and other antibiotics, will not be able to cope. The findings of such germs in hospitals, the cases in which the Doctors are the very last means (“reserve antibiotic”). Unfortunately, the two most in question appear in the warnings again and again for decent Pay. “A year to 700,000 Deaths due to antibiotic resistance,” it says, and: Up to the year 2050 would be Dead from this, “every year, 10 million”.

Both figures come from a report to the British government from the year 2014. Supplied you don’t have researchers or WHO expert, but a business consultant with the auditor company KPMG. Their estimate have taken apart professionals to Marlieke de Kraker of the University of Geneva by the end of 2016, in the journal PLoS. On the “crude” way of the value of annual dead had been identified, as a high bill to pay is not a representative case. And the horror figure for 2050 is based only on assumptions. “So far, there are no empirical data to support these scenarios,” was de Krakers damning verdict.

Shortly after the publication of the PLoS study, Spiegel Online reported extensively on the correctly position. However, neither the technical paper nor journalism seem to be the right Medicine. Anyway, anniversary gifts to Flemings on 3. September 2018 once again, dozens of articles in other media the untenable values uncritically. Since November, there are now at least a new set of Numbers, at least for the Status quo. Researchers at the European center for disease control ECDC to quantify the deaths due to antibiotic resistance to 33,000 in the year. This is an estimate and only on Europe, but on a resilient base. However, Penicillin will be looking for numbers against groundless Horror.

Stefan Schmitt

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