Business Insider and Bayesianism

I’ve used this blog post from economist Bryan Caplan several times to explain Bayesian thinking to people – basically the idea that we should derive our opinions from the sum of information about a topic rather than selected data points (likely chosen because they support our presupposed biases). I recently posted a review of the Business Insider website and pointed out one of the things I enjoy so much are their interest grabbing headlines.

I realized today one of the reasons I like the headlines so much is that they boil what is typically a complex issue down into one definitive assertion. Consider these just from today:

Wall Street’s Brightest Minds Reveal THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARTS IN THE WORLD

The Real Reason Why Market Rallies End

A New Poll Shows Americans Don’t Actually Understand Anything About The Deficit

The most important chart in the world, the real reason rallies end, Americans don’t understand anything about the deficit. I’ll quote Kip Dynamite: “Like anyone could know that.” While fun to read, this one blog post is proof that Business Insider is the least Bayesian website on the Internet. 😉

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