Just before discovering Daniel Dumbrill, who last week debated a US journalist on Xinjiang, I came across another Hong Kong blogger. This too was in the context of the crass ignorance (if we feel charitable) or gross mendacity (if we don’t) in Western media coverage of China.
Said media coverage slavishly reflecting, on every conceivable propaganda front, Empire panic over the economic rise of China.
A few weeks ago I came across Nury Vittachi – like Daniel a Hong Konger – on Facebook. The specific context was the easily disproved lie put out by Mail Online (which later took it down without explanation or apology) and The Times (which left it up) that billboard images for the Dune movie had been photoshopped to remove a black actor.
Since then I’ve been following Nury. Here we see him in a two minute video skewering the statistical and factual illiteracy – again if we’re being kind – of our lovely media.
The misuse of questionable statistics can often have a wider negative impact than a loaded gun.
The most memorable lesson and example of relying on dodgy pseudo science dressed up as apparent objective analysis was given by a visiting professor of mathematics from Oxford at an OU mathematical modelling summer school at Stirling back in the early eighties.
In an evening talk designed to impress upon the gathering of mature students the dangers of assuming what you aim to deduce and misusing the scientific model to confirm your own assumptions and prejudices he proceeded to ‘prove’ mathematically that day actually equals night.
An approach observed on an almost daily basis – when you know what you are supposed to be looking for – through most of my remaining working experience over the following three decades.
Well done to Nury Vittachi for calling this out.