Why Do People Believe Fake Statistics?

This essay by James Corbett may challenge some of your own presuppositions or biases, something that most of us do not enjoy. It is also very informative regarding the nature of statistics and the statistical manipulation of our would-be technocratic overlords.

I’m categorizing this posting as “news,” because it can very much help us parse through the (very often) nonsensical stuff that comes our way under that name.


As Mattias Desmet explains in his book on The Psychology of Totalitarianism, the mechanistic ideology that has gradually taken over Western thinking since the age of the Enlightenment is predicated on the idea of a rational, measurable and predictable clockwork universe. The modern mind is conditioned to expect that reality is ultimately reducible to numbers, graphs, statistics and other measurable quantities. This produces the perfect conditions for those who want to use statistics to manipulate the population.

For instance, it was this mechanistic understanding of the world that motivated the newscasts and newspapers to plaster the “scoreboard” of infections and hospitalizations all over their coverage of the COVID “crisis.” As Desmet notes, only the modern mind—so utterly convinced of the inherently mathematical nature of reality—could be so terrified by this numerical talisman… .

Read the whole essay here…