I'll skip my usual pretentious speech welcoming myself back to the blogging world, because there isn't much to say about my absence; although I am sure I can stretch a lengthy blog post about it later this week. That is, if you are lucky.
As you may have guessed from the title, which is very self explanatory in this case, the following discourse is primarily going to surround bias. This was all inspired by a debate amongst some online acquaintances today; the full transcript and the topic of choice is rather irrelevant so I'll not bore you minions with the details. The bare essentials for the sake of this post is that the debate that took place was not in fact a debate, but a excruciating exercise of my patience followed by my brutal tongue lashing about the ill effects of their bias and the desperate state it placed their truly unfounded arguments in.
Sound familiar? I've faced this many times from religious zealots which simply ignore facts, reason, evidence and misconstrue some ill informed and completely bigoted opinion from their own self produced ignorance. This isn't a new tune by any means, but what struck me particularly off balance was the topic of choice for this ignorance, it wasn't political or religious but over something a simplistic as a rudimentary fandom over a piece of electronic culture.
A slight taste of tonight's events for your sake:
People: "I like A"
Me: "I like B"
People: "B is such a bad rip off of A."
Me: "What makes you say that."
People: "Everyone I know who tried B went back to A because it was a cheap copy..."
Me: "Anything in particular push them away?"
People: "Not sure, they just said... "
Me: "Have you at least looked at B for yourself, read about it, made some of your own opinions about it? Even better have you read the statistics showing that B is better than A for *lists reasons and evidence*"
People: "I don't have to, I trust the opinion of *insert random name and numbers of peoples*"
Me: "So you're basing an opinion on someone's bias, rather than looking at B for yourself and making an informed decision, and ignoring the statistical facts because your own bias has given you a superiority complex about A and anything that contradicts that is going to be automatically wrong."
People: "Yes, but... "
Me: "I've decided that I don't like any thing with the letter "L" in it, because my friends inform me Ls are for idiots... and I don't want to be an idiot"
It was at this point I lectured about bias, then gave more evidence to back up the claims that were discussed. My opposition in the debate quickly decided that I was an asshole, but a correct ass hole. That aside, being proper and correct is all that really matters... right?
To tie into my other posts, the human mind is malleable, and easily shaped to niche genres. It is within these niches that trouble begins to brew, because if the mind is molded to just one particular niche sometimes the ego, or bias creates a catalyst making the malleable mind far less flexible and perfectly comfortable sitting unchanged and decided upon parameters are so unchanging that the distilled mind cannot help to be ignorant. This mental inadequacy although simplistic and usually harmless when pared with larger abstract concepts like religion and philosophy can multiply into absolutely toxic abomination for society.
Today I felt as if I watched ignorance take seed in a mind, and a catalyst harden the soil.