How One Logical Fallacy Keeps Making You Wrong
The Cracked Podcast #49 October 6, 2014
You may be the first to admit that your Facebook page is simply a highlight reel of your life — a carefully collected stream of only the best pictures, moments, and one-liners — but why is it hard to make that same realization about the lives of everyone else? Why do we assume Japan is a nuthouse of tentacle porn and horrifying game shows, even though all the weird American porn and TV doesn’t make our nation a typhoon of madness?
That’s sampling bias, homies! The same way the local news only reports the one study that “proves” Aspartame causes cancer but ignores all of the studies that say it doesn’t. Our brain does this to us all day. Other people’s brains do it to us, too. If you think Russia is basically ‘Mad Max’ with Snow, 24/7, it’s because your picture of Russia comes from the craziest dash-cam videos a few Russians managed to upload.
On today’s podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien, Jason Pargin (aka David Wong), and Alex Schmidt sit down for a podcast about the unexpected sampling errors that populate our life. Throw on your headphones and click play above to hear us explain why the world we think we live in may not exist at all.