Monday, March 21, 2011

You Cannot Un-Ring A Bell

My previous post suggests that it is never too late for information quality.  If it’s not too late, I’d like to revise that assertion.

We have this from p. 112 of the dead-tree version of Sleights of Mind: What The Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions, by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde with Sandra Blakeslee:

“Were eyewitnesses lying?  A lasting human foible, Lamont Says, is that people will believe hoaxes and rumors to be true despite all evidence to the contrary, including denials by their originators [emphasis mine], if assertions of truth are repeated often enough. In this regard, the Indian rope trick shares features with modern political ‘controversies’ such as the claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, or that astronauts never set foot on the moon.”

Hmm… If denial by the originator cannot squelch a rumor, perhaps it sometimes can be too late for information quality.

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