Archive for the ‘bad-science’ Category

Social net infantalising the human kind? Greenfield and Sigman are infantilising social research

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Dear Greenfield and Sigman:

Please join mm-sing, star blog, or rage! You may have fun and, in the process, your research agenda will start to reflect reality and British taxpayers will finally get value for money.

(*) “And then there’s the discussion of Lady Greenfield’s claims that social network sites are “infantilising” the human mind. She made a speech to the House of Lords to encourage people to research her hypothesis. There is NO EVIDENCE to prove her claims. Listening to her talk, it is very clear to me that she has no idea how social network sites work.” (danah)

Bad Science by the Head of the Royal Institution, Susan Greenfield

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Susan Greenfield warns everybody (including the House of Lords) about the ‘neurological dangers’ of children using the Internet. Susan heads the Royal Institution and, from her post, influences UK social policy. Alas, she does so based on her own prejudices. Watch her and her mate Dr. Sigman (Dr. Who?) on BBC.

Fortunately, an oasis of sanity – responses by Bad Science and Mind Hacks.

BBC had a lovely comment about Susan’s opinion (1:45′ in the video): “Ehm, yes, well might. But clocks were critized for making people loose touch with natural time, the printing press was accused of making people intellectually lazy, and the telephone of making them anti-social. But maybe she is right!” The BBC seems to apply The Economist’s ruleDo not be hectoring or arrogant“:

  • Those who disagree with you are not necessarily stupid or insane. Nobody needs to be described as silly: let your analysis show that he is. When you express opinions, do not simply make assertions. The aim is not just to tell readers what you think, but to persuade them; if you use arguments, reasoning and evidence, you may succeed. Go easy on the oughts and shoulds.

And the argument is that “we have research in social anthropology on people going from school to university, and people retiring, that shows that social networks, just like computer games, increase peoples’ social group size and activity in the real world.” (from here)