Posted tagged ‘Social media’

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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Hello President Trump …

November 10, 2016

… Goodbye Social Media.

tmp_2659-th21438624336I did not sleep well on election night.  A man I would not allow in my home is now the president-elect of the United States. My feelings about Donald Trump were clearly stated in my election eve post, Enough.  But now the election is over and he has won, fair and square, in spite of his carping about rigged elections.  If you look at the voting demographics it looks like certain parts of the Democratic base didn’t turn out for Hillary and it is likely that the third party candidates hurt her as well.   Let me say this … if you didn’t vote or voted for a no-show in protest, you don’t get to complain.

This is the point at which, in most years, I would try to accept the will of the people and hope for the best from the winner.  But I find Trump so reprehensible that hope is difficult to come by.  Last night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer for our country, which is the best I can do for now. Perhaps the man will turn out to have a conscience after all, or as several people have told me, his theatrics reflect the salesman he is … once the presidency weighs upon him, he will be a better leader. Perhaps the Republican leadership or VP Pence will help him find a steadier course, in spite of their failure to do so during the campaign.  I can look back to voting for Romney four years ago and hope for rightward movement in some of the areas in which I am conservative.  And I will keep on praying. (more…)