Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bias disguised as objectivity

One thing I can't handle is when people say they are being objective (and maybe actually think they are!) but are actually biassed.

Let's face it... we're ALL biassed, and there is no such thing as an objective view. There is a business decision making theory that handles this quite nicely, and it's called "bounded rationality." The premise is that a person can't know everything, so they go with what they know and make the best decision.

Really, that's how we have to live. Because if we were continually hung up on getting every detail, we'd never move forward. But if we blindly think they we are the wisest of the wise and know everything there is to know... well, that just leads to problems. There are things we CAN'T know.

Even more, there are things we can't know that we don't know. (I can't say it any better, if it doesn't make sense, just read it over again ;) )

All this was prompted by two events. 1) The other day, I actually heard someone say, "I know more than most people." I couldn't believe it. To quote Napoleon Dynamite - "Like anyone could even know that." Anyway, this world is a dangerous place if there are people who think themselves wiser than they are. 2) Reading the Da Vinci Code. It's a good book, great story, and the history part of it was quite interesting. BUT, it took historical facts and mixed them with bias disguised as fact, which lead to lies. Now, this may not sound like a bad thing, since it IS a fictional work and doesn't pretend to be otherwise. But, if I describe something, like a paining, and get every detail about the painting right, then say that the artist who painted it was someone different than it actually was... most people who think the artist was who I said. And I think that's a problem.

Anyway, this has gone on longer than I meant to. I'm feeling cynical these days because I'm tired... As nice as it is not to be in school and doing assignments and stuff, it's tough to adjust to this new schedule.

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