A Well Rounded Mind

It’s important to realize that no matter what crazy thought that enters your head, there’s now a minor media outlet out there willing to tell you that you are right…And we get trapped in the sort of reality dysmorphia, this idea that we can just view what it is that we want to see in the world without that actually being attached to reality.

Clay Johnson on a healthier “Information Diet” (via newshour)

Read this. Then take this context into account when you read this.

I do not wish to make this a habit, but I’m going to share a quote and my related opinion from a post on my personal tumblr. I’m making the exception because this is the precise issue I wanted to combat when I started A Well Rounded Mind. With that in mind, please read on.

I really, really agree with this quote from Clay Johnson. And I think it touches on one of the most crucial issues our culture faces today. Confirmation bias, and how easy it has become to forget we all fall victim to it, is a very dangerous reality for us. It doesn’t matter what you think, you can find a media outlet that agrees with you. And that isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’d argue it’s a bad thing. It feeds bias and discourages real debate, discussion of ideas, and growth. Just because you don’t agree with an idea doesn’t make it wrong, and it certainly doesn’t make it not worth listening to.

In regards to the link SFB posted, which they encourage us to read with the above quote in our minds - I feel they are missing the point. Which is ironic, because that’s what they are arguing (correctly so, IMO) that Tucker Carlson and conservative media are doing in pushing black-on-white violence stories in light of the Trayvon Martin case. Yes, I think Fox News and the like have an agenda, and they are certainly making the situation worse. And yes, I feel like posting his twitter feed is going too far. But other media is guilty of the same type of bias, from the other direction. Twitter and social media is the biggest and best example of a type of media outlet giving each and every one of us a chance to find those who agree with us - even if those people have absolutely no knowledge of the situation. Trials do not take place in the public, and the court of public opinion has no place in our justice system. I will go as far to say that if you ask 10 random people what happened to Trayvon Martin, 8 or 9 of them will say it’s obvious what happened, one way or the other. And that is completely and totally unacceptable.

Be informed of the situation, follow it as best you can, and form your own opinion - these are all civic duties. If we could only do them with the understanding that it is unlikely that we know all the information, and treat our opinions as just that - opinions - and truly leave them open to change, then I think we will have made real progress.

Via: hopelessfanatic
Source: shortformblog

(via hopelessfanatic)

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