The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect

‘Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely not understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backwards—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper is somehow more accurate about Palestine that the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.’

Michael Crighton from his talk ‘Why Speculate?