Lung Cancer Claiming, and the Problem of Fact-Free, Type 1 Commentary on Economic, Social and Legal
One of the flaws with 24/7 media is endless desire and space for content, and a tendency to publish fact-free articles that masquerade as analysis. That is, articles that typically consists of irrelevant sounds bites that appeal to important but often incorrect type 1 thinking built on reflex instead of analysis of actually relevant facts.
Paul Krugman recently pointed out an example of fact-free commentary in politics and economics by well-known names. In the world of asbestos, otherwise respected commentators Joe Nocera and Paul Brodeur unfortunately joined the parade with fact-free arguments about the merits or demerits of an asbestos lung cancer lawsuit recently filed by a New York legislator who chain smoked for years. Nocera here and Brodeur here.
Both articles toss out useless generalities without actual analysis of the actual facts specific to the specific laws suit. Like Mr. Nocera, I suspect the lawsuit lacks merit but the absence of facts makes my suspicion pointless. It’s sad to see respected writers joining in fact-free type 1 thinking instead of actually doing the type 2 research and analysis that made them well known journalists.
One wonders how the litigation industry will evolve in the age of fact-free media dominated by type 1 thinking, made worse by type 1 articles from people who normally undertake type 2 analysis.