What do you read in the morning? When I start my computer I scan through the sites of The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and the Mail (the latter for scandal not facts). Then I start reading the blogs and the one I turn to first is Fresh Bilge . Alan Sullivan is a poet of considerable distinction, a yachtsman with an interest in the Earth sciences, climatology and vulcanology, and a CLL sufferer. He posts several times a day and among the most interesting posts are what he calls FB randoms. Yesterday he linked to couple of articles that my readers might be interested in. The first is a piece by Thomas Dalrymple written in 1999 about real and relative poverty, and the second an editorial by a physicist who can understand those math equations that we feel we could understand and when we get to heaven we will understand but in reality have decided that life is too short to understand.
I enjoyed both articles because they concur with my diagnosis that most commentators know more about how to write than how to evaluate data. It is rare to find scientists who can write clearly and even rarer to find writers who understand science.
It is perhaps best to begin every article that you read with the assumption that you are being lied to and then search for who has a vested interest in your believing the stuff you are reading.
Newspapers make their money by attracting advertisers, which they do by selling more copies. People buy newspapers because they like to read 'stories'. My experience with the press is that there are only two stories in medicine - 'breakthrough' and 'disaster'. Every medical story can be tweaked to make it fit the pattern. I don't see why medical stories are any different from stories about politics. All stories are tweaked to make good copy. I'm not saying that bloggers don't tweak their stories, but it is difficult to see how they can make money from doing it.