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You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept

You’ll No Longer Be Fooled by Skillful Liars If You Know This Concept

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was convincing you about something, only to find out later they left out half the story? It’s easy to find yourself taking a stance and forming opinions based on a single side of things, especially if the information presented seems very declarative and all-encompassing.

But card-stacking – also known as cherry picking, a one-sided argument or suppressing evidence – intentionally seeks to make people believe one side is the entire story.[1] This can lead to false conclusions, misinformation or a complete misunderstanding of a situation.

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It can also have a devastating impact on our lives, socially or politically. One of the most prominent issues in media news today comes from the development of two narratives in media reporting that stem from willful card-stacking on the part of mostly conservative media organizations.[2] You can even see the issue take place on a smaller, personal scale, when two individuals have an argument and people take sides after hearing just one version of events.

Card stacking tricks you by giving you the false impression that you’re fully educated on a subject

Card stacking works by not just presenting only one side of an argument but intentionally suppressing a listener’s knowledge of other arguments or evidence related to a subject. Commonly employed in political ads or public relations campaigns, card stacking gives the listener the false impression that they’re being fully educated on a subject when they may in fact be presented with misinformation or information taken out of context.

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For example, someone wanting to defend a John Doe may take a quote that says “I do not support John Doe and dislike him, although many people say he is a great man,” and then present someone only with “Many people say he is a great man.” This would technically not be a wrong quote, but it is willfully taken out of context in order to bolster a particular argument. It provides a listener with what appears to be solid evidence, thereby appealing to a sense of authority, and discourages the listener from questioning the accuracy of the quote.

On a larger scale, this can involve intentionally providing testimonials or evidence that comes to a particular conclusion, while willfully ignoring, leaving out or failing to seek out information or testimonials that leads to a different conclusion.

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Some biased political polls is done based on the concept of card stacking

Cherry picking often comes down to a misrepresentation of events or information based on presenting an analysis that is incomplete or incorrect. Some biased political polls, for example, are conducted in such a way to obtain opinions from primarily older people who haven’t abandoned old habits – such as having a landline – leading to a conservative slant in poll responses.[3] Or they will call only cell phones, which leads to a decidedly liberal slant. Although this isn’t an example of willful cherry picking, it is an example of a well-known weakness in polling methods that political pundits may intentionally ignore or fail to mention when presenting the poll results.

The sense of skepticism is the best tool to combat card stacking

Individuals can combat this by learning to keep skepticism about them when receiving information from creepy guy types and other unreliable sources.[4] When someone provides you with a quote, search for the full context the quote was delivered in to understand precisely what the speaker meant.

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If an expert presents you with a poll analysis, search for the compiled poll results yourself, and then look at the methodology used to conduct the poll.

During an argument between two individuals, make the effort to listen to both stories (as well as other testimony) in order to understand both perspectives, rather than drawing a conclusion from one.

In general, a sense of skepticism about the information presented to you and a willingness to search for original data yourself will keep you from falling prey to card stacking misinformation. By learning to take the search for information into your own hands, you soon learn how to identify misrepresentation off the bat, which sources can be trusted and which cannot, and how to effectively form your own opinion about a subject. Make yourself an independent thinker and don’t let anyone manipulate you with misinformation or cherry picking.

Reference

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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