Category Archives: BoingBoing

Conspiracy theorists should be smarter

It’s downright shameful for a respectable (more or less) news source like BoingBoing to get a story so blatantly wrong. The name of the post is Densely-linked cluster of 147 companies control 40% of world’s total wealth, but even a casual read of the material quoted by the article shows that’s completely wrong.

If you read it through, it says that 1,318 companies control 20% of global revenue, right up front. Waitaminute… the headline said that far less control more. What gives? Oh, here it is down below. They found that 147 companies that all own pieces of each other control “40 per cent of the total wealth in the network”. Which is to say, they control 40% of the 20% that the network of 1,318, NOT 40% of global wealth.

Come on, guys. I support Occupy Wall Street too, but you’re not helping them out my misrepresenting the facts. Isn’t it just as damning to say that one small group of rich people control 147 companies that control 8% of all the wealth in the world? Well, no, that’s not as impressive I guess.

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BoingBoing gave me a very enticing headline: Floating toxic plastic garbage island twice the size of Texas. The article pointed to at the San Francisco Chronicle calls it “continent-size”. And yet, there are no pictures. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be hard to come up with at least one photograph of something that incredibly huge – larger than a good number of countries – but instead the Chronicle includes a couple pictures of things that are not the subject of the article. Maybe they think that showing random pictures of trash in the ocean is good enough to get the point across. Maybe they think these pictures gain viewer sympathy. To me, these pictures only induce skepticism. How am I supposed to believe such an incredible tale as there being a gigantic island of floating trash, if you can’t produce a picture of the trash? How am I supposed to believe somebody who’s telling me about something they’ve evidently never seen?