We're told that in order to combat fake news, conspiracy theories, and misinformation of all kinds that we need to do a better job of examining the evidence, of looking at the data, but what if this is entirely backwards? What if we're too focused on the data, on the little bits of evidence that make up our world view, and that the problem is we're bad at organizing these bits of data into a coherent and common-sensical world view? What if we're so focused on justice, punishing people for the separate misdeeds that occur every day, that we neglect mercy, the art of seeing how interconnected everything and everyone really is.
After having a conversation with a friend I decide to dig into the numbers on police officer killings since 1965 as compiled by the Anti-Defamation League. In the process I discover that there's a lot of fairly obvious subjectivity to who those numbers can be interpreted, and the general impression that right-wing extremism is more dangerous is muddier than people think.
It's a long one, but it's got lots of numbers so that makes up for it. Right?