Interview with Luca Perri and BarbascuraX on Infodemic: we are the virus

Interview with Luca Perri and BarbascuraX on Infodemic: we are the virus

Interview with Luca Perri and BarbascuraX on Infodemic

Infodemic: we are the virus is the new documentary written by Luca Perri and BarbascuraX, available for streaming online on Amazon Prime Video After having had the opportunity to review it (find our article here) we also had the pleasure of interviewing the two presenters .

Their documentary talks about infodemics, that is the dissemination of often uncontrolled news, which increases the general confusion in various fields, especially the scientific ones. An example of this was the Pandemic of 2020, which also served as a bit of an excuse to start investigating how infodemics actually develop and why people believe them. We therefore decided to ask Luca Perri and BarbascuraX this question.

To subscribe to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, also taking advantage of the 30-day trial, you can use this link. We undoubtedly did it. We already had that in mind, but with the documentary we deepened and explored even more what the reasons could be. I would start by saying that there are several possible reasons why a person believes fake news. But certainly very often it is also a question of not understanding how complex the world is. So simplify reality a lot, bringing it to something concrete that you understand well. After all we are all missing scientists and we try to explain what surrounds us with our tools.

Each of us has mental mechanisms that have accompanied us for three hundred thousand years of evolution, so it is not easy to turn them off suddenly and become rational. We have evolved to make quick decisions starting from a few data, building patterns and basically saving our lives. It was fundamental to our survival and we had to make sure that this was a big part of us, so these biases, these mechanisms have remained a part of us.

So we tend to listen to those who confirm our idea, we tend to see patterns where they don't exist and plots are ultimately patterns. And by finding a plot we also find a possible culprit so it is easier to fight a culprit no matter how strong it is, rather than feeling responsible for something or understanding that there is an enemy that is not as palpable as a virus can be during a pandemic. We are emotional beings, so when in doubt we tell a loved one not to do something just because they told us it could be dangerous.

Mechanisms inherent in us for millennia, therefore, very difficult to block in order to be as rational as possible. But if the work on ourselves requires time and a knowledge of ourselves very different from that of centuries ago, the question arises whether something can be done to stop these uncontrolled disclosures of unverified news. The answers seem to be certain for the two science communicators:

But I am convinced of the fact that if the scientific method were taught from an early age, then understanding how a research or a concept develops, this can help to interpret the world and to understand how complex it actually is, as well as learning to understand a priori what is behind what industry experts are telling us. (...) This is just a mental training that if done from an early age teaches you in my opinion to find your space in the world and to understand that you are not an expert in everything, and if you do not trust what the experts say you must understand how to go looking for data and not find simplistic solutions. Unfortunately, very often these plots are based on simplicity and very easy explanation.

To subscribe to the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, also taking advantage of the 30-day trial, you can use this link. Yes, we need to make an effort on ourselves substantially, we cannot limit fake news, because we live in an era in which the media now report everything very quickly. So we cannot limit the arrival of fake news, we must make an effort on ourselves to be a little more humble and not consider ourselves the only smart ones in a world of functional illiterates and feel subject to making mistakes. And then find a method to realize when we are wrong.

In fact, as Luca Perri continues to explain to us, the scientific method does not prevent us from making mistakes, but makes us realize when we made them, thus allowing us to improve ourselves. We must therefore take our rational side and force it to intervene, precisely due to the fact that we are emotional beings and we tend to react accordingly.

Thus touching the topic of how fake news spreads, especially through social media, we ask why until about fifteen years ago those who believed this news did not have so much prominence while now it seems to carry on a struggle, sometimes even physical, with those who do not think the same way.

Well human nature has never changed. The tendency to do a certain thing has always remained unchanged. Because of fake news, wars have arisen, but the point is that now news travels faster, so it's exactly the equivalent of the drunk person in the pub that if you put a microphone on him and send him on national TV you will almost certainly have another ten. , a hundred, a thousand people who will agree with any nonsense he may have said.

If you multiply this thing and consider that communities of people who find themselves in the same flag are almost always created, you can understand the vastness of the thing. Despite that, that is, from my direct experience, I have found that in most cases people do not agree on everything, but have a great dogma that is "someone is screwing us" consequently any theory you may have that maybe totally differs from mine but has this as its foundation, I like it. Because the important thing is that together we are realizing that they are cheating us.

Yes, there is also the further problem that once the information was selected by the standard media, let's say. That is, there was an intermediation between those who produced the eventual fake news and those who received it as an audience, which was due from newspapers, news programs, TV, and print media. Now we are instead in a non-intermediated regime because there are no longer only these big players, but with social media we can reach anyone and at any time, perhaps by piercing our social bubble we can reach people with whom we would never normally have interacted. And the "funny" thing is that the media that previously were the ones who mediated the news, now chase those who are no longer under them and therefore now try to bounce news that creates controversy, that makes clicks and so on.

That journalism which is therefore always looking for a greater audience for views, thus resulting in one of the main causes of the spread of fake news. But that this news is a huge obstacle for those looking to do their job, especially in the scientific field, is certainly not new to them. This is where a new question arises to ask Luca Perri and BarbascuraX: has there ever been any fake news that has compromised or even hindered their research and their work?

Yes, actually I believe that one that has hindered perhaps space and space exploration more, but also chemistry and biotechnology, is that the money invested in research is totally wasted. Here I think this is a fake news that creates problems for everyone at 360 degrees. Then this thing particularly affects astrophysics because, as a fairly recent survey says, 92% of Italians consider space research the most useless of the scientific branch. But in general I must say that the idea that the money to make technologies that maybe we will need in fifty years is wasted, when we have much more pressing problems right now, that's what is fooling us all. And it is also one of the reasons why we lack a sense of urgency on the climate crisis.

And after giving us some advice on what is best and most profitable to invest at the moment, we decide to ask them one last question before letting them go. Although there are probably an unlikely amount of them, we are curious to know which fake news they liked the most, for creativity or absurdity. And after a first moment of uncertainty and laughter, here's what they replied.

So, there are so many that are absurd, more than you could imagine. I have heard of people who are convinced that mountains do not exist and that in reality they are large cut logs from a bygone era. I've heard of all kinds, including the one that claims there are no penguins. Then whoever follows me knows, when I sneaked into the Italian flat-earth conference, I didn't expect to meet the great master Albino, and I certainly didn't expect him to tell me about the theory that oil is actually Satan's blood buried. underground.

I must say that I have had to deal with people who came to offer me photos and tests on the giants. In general, someone has happened to me who is convinced that the Earth is hollow, but the two big plots I have to deal with in the sense that they also come to my conferences, are those of UFOs, and flat-earthers, who are also the ones that worry me. Moreover. Apart from the fact that it is often said that they are given more weight than they actually have, but according to the latest CENSIS report, flat-earthers in Italy are 5.8% of the population, i.e. about 3.5 million people. , not very few then!

And the fact that this theory doesn't even have a motive, like all other conspiracy theories, is the thing that worries me the most. Nobody gains in saying that the earth is spherical, apart from Mattel which produces the globes. So what has always troubled me about flat-earthers is this and the only reason why you want to believe something that doesn't even have a motive is simply because you want to believe yourself part of an elite that doesn't fall into the Great Plot.

If you are also interested in discovering together with Luca Perri and BarbascuraX the reasons and ways in which infodemics develop, you just have to watch their documentary Infodemic: we are the virus on Amazon Prime Video.

Purchase the latest generation Alexa Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD with voice remote control to enjoy Amazon Prime Video quietly on your TV.

Powered by Blogger.