Posted tagged ‘opinion’

Confirmation Bias? Try This

October 31, 2018

morning newsIt is becoming virtually impossible for me to make it through the news in the morning.  Believe it or not, it is not because I am disturbed by repeated national tragedies … although it certainly would be good to have a respite from natural disasters, mass shootings and political infighting.   Nor is it because an inordinate percentage of the news concerns what some celebrity or athlete says or does.  It is not even because the mainstream press offers a decidedly liberal-sided view of most issues.   It is because, more and more, I see that no one is listening to any other viewpoint than their own, so that every new story devolves into a discussion of whose fault it is … and, of course, until we figure that out, we will do nothing to remedy the situation because, you see, only one side’s solution can possibly work.  If you read my last post, Biased … Again, you know that the culprit is Confirmation Bias, that nasty tendency of or species to find evidence that supports what we believe and believe nothing else. (more…)

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PC

October 15, 2018

pcAfter years (and years) of working in the defense industry, I have an aversion to acronyms.   But aversion or not, I can’t avoid them, in spite of their annoying habit of standing for more than one thing.   In my men’s groups there are several guys who talk about HP.  They mean their Higher Power but I can’t help but smile and think Hewlett Packard.  I usually tell them I’m a Dell guy.  It won’t surprise you then that the acronym PC brings to mind Personal Computer which both dates me and certifies me as a techie.   But what I’m talking about here is political correctness. (more…)

Stars for President

January 9, 2018

There is a scene in the film Back to the Future that I think of often lately.  In it, Marty McFly, after traveling to the past in a time machine invented by Doc Brown, is trying to convince a much younger Doc that he is indeed from the future by knowing the president of the United States in the future.

The scene is actually funnier here in 2018 than it was in 1985 given the propensity of show business types to decide that, based on their vast experience in the make believe world of show business, they should bring their questionable talents to government.   If that sentence doesn’t give you a hint how I feel about the trend, then go back and read it again.

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Dogs … Everywhere

September 19, 2017

Resized_20170216_185030 This post started out as a curmudgeonly rant by my alter ego, Older Eyes.  But here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog, we like our rants to be (a) funny and (b) not too controversial.  It ended up neither.   It therefore will reside on my other blog, Both Sides Now.   If you would like to read both sides of the growing trend of allowing dogs everywhere …and can comment respectfully … you can find it here.   On the other hand, if you might find such a post hard to take, I invite you to enjoy this picture of Older Eyes with his most animal-loving friend’s dog as evidence that, while he is a cat lover, he likes dogs, too.  Just not Dogs … Everywhere.

Biased

August 12, 2017

I posted this on my other blog, Both Sides Now, but I’m posting it here because it’s relevant to the purpose of both blogs.   It’s also think it’s a good post and gives me an opportunity to promote my new blog to readers of Older Eyes.  If you are one of the few who already subscribe to both, I apologize.

biasI like to begin my day with a cup of coffee at my side and my tablet in front of me, seeing what is going on in the world from the various news outlets. I have searched for years for a source of unbiased news (a phrase that should be a truism but turns out to be an oxymoron) but have finally settled on reading biased news from a variety of sources, then drawing my own conclusion. Over in the blogosphere or on social media, it is worse. Opinions masquerading as facts may not win the day but they dominate it. It is as if we are pre-programmed to be biased, which we are. The culprit is not some brain-hacker out of The Matrix but a fundamental characteristic of our species known as Confirmation Bias. Our Creator (or Evolution, you choose) has endowed us with a very strong tendency to sort through the array of information available to us at any instant and choose that which supports our currenttiger2 opinions, thus strengthening our belief. Some scientists explain that for our ancestors, dealing with simpler (but more critical) situations (like Is that a Sabre-Toothed Tiger and is it likely to eat me?), reaching a quick decision in the face of sensory overload was a matter of life or death. If this is the case, then Confirmation Bias is strongly linked to our Flight or Fight Response, becoming strongest when the situation seems threatening.

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Both Sides Now

August 8, 2017

both sidesI am 73 years old. I have watched two generations of parents live their lives then slip away to whatever comes next. It seems to happen in one of several ways. The easiest way out seems to me to be what most people consider the most tragic … a sudden accident that snuffs out a life in its tracks.  Then there are the injuries and illnesses that gradually drain the life from those we know.  According to Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying, that can be a time to finally appreciate life and be the man (or woman) you were meant to be. Somehow, I suspect that doesn’t come easy. Then there are those that just getstranger old and slip away. Certainly that is sometimes just due to the aging of the body, but I have a theory why others just decide to let go and die. I think as we age, we look at the world that’s changed around us and don’t like what we see. We feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land (to shoplift the title of Robert A. Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel). And at some point we just say, I’m ready for whatever’s next. It can’t be worse than this.
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