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Medicine | Infostorms (Testimonials)


How to Take Information Punches and Save Democracy

Hendricks, Vincent F., Hansen, Pelle G.

2014, XV, 148 p. 16 illus.

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"Infostorms uses 78 examples and logic to offer a distinctive perspective on how every day activities combined with public information may manipulate our actions, our opinions, or our choices of what to buy or sell. Their examples illustrate notions ranging from social proof, information cascades, opinion bubbles, pluralistic ignorance, framing and polarization effects, and bystander effects. The pages are full of summaries of experimental studies, anecdotes and simple models that challenge  how we think of information, knowledge, and actions. This book should be read by everyone interested in network formation and researchers interested in decision making behavior." (Robert A. Becker, Professor of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, January 2014)

"Informed fair decision making is not a fixed virtue that a democratic society acquires once and for all, it is a process that constantly needs rethinking and reshaping under changing circumstances. This highly original book brings the latest insights from logic, philosophy, social choice theory, cognitive psychology, and game theory to bear on the vast information streams that drive our lives. Its innovative unified perspective sensitizes the reader to the many informational whirlpools that can make us, and our societies, spin out of control, and it makes us better equipped to cope with them. The result is a showpiece of socially responsible fundamental science." (Johan van Benthem, Professor of Logic and Philosophy, university of Amsterdam & Stanford University, January 2014)

"Infostorms is a sophisticated and accessible investigation into the crucial information flows that shape and govern so many aspects of our social, economic and political lives. It elegantly manages to select crucial results in a variety of technical fields, from logic to game theory, from economics to psychology, and make them cast new  and much needed light on the infosphere. An interdisciplinary tour de force not to be missed." (Luciano Floridi, OII’s Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information, University of Oxford and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, January 2014)

"Modern man doesn’t need more news - he needs better news. And journalists should learn that information is no longer a scarce resource. We all drown in the polluted information surrounding us. What people need is means of navigation, meaning and alignment. Infostorms is a thoughtful, well-written and scary warning to every media organization: Change!" (Ulrik Haagerup, Executive Director of News, Danish Broadcasting Company, January 2014)

"This is an unusual book with a wonderful collection of social phenomena that involve logical reasoning with important notions such as knowledge, information, and beliefs. I was particularly impressed by the nice balance between intriguing stories, formal analysis, and the insights conveyed by the authors. I am sure that readers will be enlightened by this book." (Fenrong Liu, Professor of Logic, Tsinghua University, Beijing, January 2014)

"We live in environments that are rich in information, soundbites, and noise. Our highly connected social networks facilitate the transmission of information, but can also contribute to the spread of misinformation and even disinformation. To build strong democracies and flourishing liberal societies, we must understand how our information environments function and what challenges and opportunities they generate.Written by two scholars with a strongly interdisciplinary orientation, this book brings together insights from many different academic fields to shed light on the mechanisms underpinning information flows in society and how we might respond to them. It is a highly recommended read for social scientists and concerned citizens alike." (Christian List, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, London School of Economics, January 2014)

"A highly readable book, Infostorms is aimed as much at “students” in the broad sense as those at the university. It is sure to provoke wide-ranging discussions in classrooms. In addition, its themes and examples suggest new research questions. All in all, it is an important contribution to the social sciences for both the academy and the public." (Lawrence S. Moss, Professor of Mathematics, Indiana University Program in Pure and Applied Logic, January 2014)

"We now make our democratic decisions, as we live our everyday lives, buffeted by gales of purported information that are stronger andmorewayward than any previous generation has had to weather. Drawing on many different disciplines and traditions, Infostorms offers an analysis of these forces that is indispensable for everyone who is invested, as we all should be, in the value and the future of democracy." (Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University, University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University, January 2014)



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