Monthly Archives: January 2012
A wonderful exposition of the confirmation bias. “You want to be right about how you see the world, so you seek out information which confirms your beliefs and avoid contradictory evidence and opinions.”
Indeed! Seek and ye shall find evidence for your preconceived notions, unless you understand and actively fight the confirmation bias in your own mind. The first step toward fighting back is realizing that it’s not your fault. The confirmation bias is wiring built into your unconscious mind, but your conscious mind, now made aware of this normally subconscious flaw, needs to fight back!
The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.
The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.
By now you’ve likely heard of confirmation bias. As a citizen of the internet the influence of this cognitive tendency is constant, and its allure is pervasive.
In short, when you have a hunch that you might already understand something, but don’t know for sure, you tend to go searching for information that will confirm your suspicions.
When you find that inevitable confirmation, satisfied you were correct all along, you stop searching. In some circles, the mental signal to end exploration once you feel like your position has sufficient external support is referred to as the wonderfully wordy “makes sense stopping rule” which basically states that once you believe you’ve…
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47-year-old comedian Todd Glass came out of the closet last Monday on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. If you have not listened to the podcast, you must check it out. Marc mainly interviews comedians and often delves into serious topics like bi-polar disorder, OCD, and suicide. This episode was the first time that someone came out of the closet on his show and you could hear the pride in Marc’s voice as he helped Todd share his true identity with the world.
Thank you Todd for having the guts to share this. Here is one of the best quotes from the interview:
Time will tell you’re wrong. If you are homophobic and you’re out there you better be positive you’re right, because isn’t it gonna blow if all these kids are killing themselves and later how convenient in twenty years you get to write a book to say how wrong you were. They’re dead, so why don’t you have a soul-searching moment now?
As a child I remember the unwarranted bigotry that adults espoused against gays in the conservative religious churches that I attended. Read the rest of this entry