Monday, October 09, 2017

Fear God, Limit Confirmation Bias

Seeing Trump Through a Glass, Darkly - The New York Times:



If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.



The fear of God is the BEGINNING of wisdom.



The hammer analogy is in the tool domain, the Bible verse is in the world view, philosophical, espistemological modesty domain. As the article says ...



It won’t be drained from our political bloodstream by conservatives lecturing liberals or vice versa. We have to begin with people in our own tribe, with people who have standing in our lives. We need to emphasize greater epistemological modesty on our side and greater appreciation for the perspectives of the other side. We have to look within and see ourselves and our limitations with fresh eyes.
The "it" is the preceeding paragraph in the column ...



Confirmation bias is deepening political polarization, which is already at record levels. Our political culture is sick and getting sicker, and confirmation bias is now a leading toxin.
The purpose of the column is to get more conservatives / Republicans to hate Trump ... as if there were not a whole potload already. The core of Trump's support is from people completely fed up with DC, political parties, media, and all the happy bullshit artists that call themselves "experts".



While the "expert" that wrote the column is from the W administration, and if you wasn't out to convince more people on the right to hate Trump as he does, then the NY Times would not have published his column! He notices that "political polarization" is "deepening" and he was in the W administration? HELLO ... the NY Times HATED you, and they were (and are) **WAY** unconcerned about their "confirmation bias".



Having confirmation bias is like breathing for humans. When we stop having it, we get buried. Can we hold our breath? can we regulate our breathing? Sure ... on the margins, just like how we can deal without confirmation bias, without a SOLID understanding that we are not the be all and end all -- in fact, nothing here, not the planet, not the sun, not what we see as the "universe" is ultimately of any worth at all.



Only God.



So, if we recognized our smallness, mortality, powerlessness, neediness, etc, **THEN** we have a chance to rise above our individual sense of pride and our partisan tribes. I especially liked this paragraph ...



In political debates we assume wisdom resides with us and not our opponents. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that; it’s the reason we hold the views we do. And so when I see so many Republicans defend Mr. Trump regardless of his actions — invoking defenses that I am certain would enrage them if champions of a President Hillary Clinton had said the same things on her behalf — I’m convinced we’re seeing a severe case of confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs.
Has this man never sat and watched an NFL game with fans of opposing teams? Holding, pass interference, unneccsary roughness, what is a catch, etc, etc are **ALL** dependent on which team it is happening to!! This is bedrock human  nature -- I'm sure the caveman did that same thing.



So if Slick Willie gets away with BJs at the oval office and someone sets out to destroy Trump because he said "Pussy", this is not "confirmation bias", this is called being human and defending your own team. "Standards" are only standards if they are followed by BOTH TEAMS. One team following standards all the time while the other team does not is called BEING STUPID ... which is also very old.



Certainly, the inside the beltway R power folks including ex-Bushies, HATE Trump ... probably even worse than the NY Times.



And that is a major reason he was elected, and why his supporters have to interest in listening to the NY Times, and even less in listening to a Bushie.



Oh, and if someone gets "standing in your life" on the basis of politics, you need a NEW LIFE!



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