December 14, 2011

Blogging is a game of confirmation bias.

Discuss.

(For reference: here's the Wikipedia article "Confirmation bias.")

46 comments:

Mick said...

The fact that Justia.com mangled citations to Minor v. Happersett in the time running up to the 2008 election is all the confirmation you need that Obama is not an eligible natural born Citizen.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/justiagate_natural_born_supreme_court_citations_disappear.html

Do your students use Justia "law prof"? You mean you have no opinion on this Orwellian violation of freedom of information?

TWM said...

True. Next question?

Sorry, didn't mean to be so snarky so early. I thought about taking this down the old liberal-conservative blog road but I just don't have time today and I feel confident someone will do it for me.

Mick said...

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". G. Orwell, "1984"

xnar said...

I confirm your theory.

Meade said...

And blog commenting is a game of attitude polarization.

Scott M said...

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". G. Orwell, "1984"

"Who espouses contrary means to prevent a sitting president from running for a second term is full of shit." E. Roosevelt

shiloh said...

"And blog commenting is a game of attitude polarization."

And deletions er unnecessary censorship. btw, it's good to be king, eh. :-P

Take care

Mick said...

Scott M said...
""Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". G. Orwell, "1984"

"Who espouses contrary means to prevent a sitting president from running for a second term is full of shit." E. Roosevelt"


"Contrary means" (WTF)? You're using an Elenore Roosevelt quote?!!?

Scott M said...

"Contrary means" (WTF)? You're using an Elenore Roosevelt quote?!!?

Blogging is mocking.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Meade said...

And blog commenting is a game of attitude polarization.

I thought it was more of a Dating Game, at least for some...

C R Krieger said...

It's like everything else in life.  Some seek to bolster their own opinions and others seek challenges to those same opinions.  I come here for the fun of reading and to see what is up in Madison (my wife is from Janesville) and to hear the slightly right of slightly left of center opinions of the blog-mistress.  Oh, and Ann looks like my wife.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mick said...

Scott M said...
""Contrary means" (WTF)? You're using an Elenore Roosevelt quote?!!?

Blogging is mocking."


You SHOULD be mocked for using an Elenore Roosevelt quote. Did she say that before he FDR got a 3rd term?

John Burgess said...

No, I'll refute that. I blog about Saudi Arabia and from a point of view that is far from that of 'common wisdom'. I get flack from readers who disagree. The contours of Islamophobia are always being probed.

WV: ergat... the weak-kneed spawn begat by ergot.

Scott M said...

You SHOULD be mocked for using an Elenore Roosevelt quote. Did she say that before he FDR got a 3rd term?

Hysterical.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
You SHOULD be mocked for using an Elenore Roosevelt quote. Did she say that before he FDR got a 3rd term?

Hysterical


Please don’t bait the “Special Needs” People.

Henry said...

For some, waking up in the morning is a game of confirmation bias.

* * *

I'm not so sure about the word "game". Who's playing the game? And what game is it? Is it a prisoner's dilemma or the El Farol Bar?

cubanbob said...

Of course blogging is a game of confirmation bias. Hard lefties don't want t read right thinking blogs and sane people don't want to read hard left blogs.

Moose said...

Isn't this just another explanation of the term "echo chamber"?

TMink said...

Meade, I think that is part of the game of commenting, but being funny or witty or totally shutting down some wonk is also part of it.

Trey

jimspice said...

I had mentioned yesterday at another WI conservative blog that righties have been amazingly silent regarding the recent spate of harassment, intimidation and outright assault on recall signature gathers, serious instances of which are nearing double digits. The blog author was incredulous, expressing no awareness of anything such thing.

That's the thing. If your attention is selective to only those sources which reinforce your beliefs, the chances of being made aware of your own side's failings are small.

By the way, THIS is a camera swat which merits a "police, police."

The Crack Emcee said...

Blogging is a game of confirmation bias.

It was until I came along. Now none of you know what to do with yourselves. I still cherish Glenn Reynolds saying "I don't understand,.."

Betcha few have ever heard those words from him,...

Scott M said...

It was until I came along. Now none of you know what to do with yourselves.

Please let some of the hot air out of your head, Crack.

ndspinelli said...

Well, I'm sure the commenters who actually clicked onto the link and saw the length, said screw it. That was my inclination but it is a thought provoking piece. I've read much of what's contained in the piece in other venues, as I'm sure many of you have.

Litigation is about bias, each side spinning the facts to make their case. I've spent my career cutting through bias. on a daily basis I would take statements from people in direct conflict from what another witness had said. When I was in my early years, I tended to think, "Someone's lying." Indeed, that was sometimes the case. But, when I would interview witnesses who had no interest in the outcome, just folks who witnessed a crime, accident, fire, etc. I would get different accounts. Usually not very different, but people see things from different angles, geometrically and otherwise. The geometric angle is easy to discern, the other "angles" not so much.

I have investigated many fires both criminally[arson] and civilly. With the civil fires, it's subrogation, one insurance company trying to lay the blame on another for the cause. Cause and origin investigators are scientific guys, they wade into the rubble and find evidence. Many of them aren't good w/ people skills, so I would be called in to find and interview witnesses. Over years I came to learn the different "angle" view of men amd women.

The color of the flames and smoke @ different intervals is important. Women, I came to learn, are very good on this. They will give you, "the smoke was first light gray and then charcoal and then black." Or, "the flames were mostly orange but there were some slight flecks of blue." Men will give, "The smoke was black. The falmes were red."

Conversely, time and distance are important. Men will give you, I heard the explosion and in about 10 seconds I saw smoke, about 30 feet from the front of the building, near the front door." Women would almost invariably not understand the concept of seconds, "About a minute" or "2 minutes" is the most I could get. And when I ask distances, forget it. The standard answer from a woman is, "I'm terrible w/ distances." I can deal w/ that by using reference points, "Tell me the distance.. from you front window to where?"

This was a good piece and deserves an informed response. That's why I keep returning. My apologies for the length. I'm just trying to be "thoughtful."I found the last section on self image particularly interesting.

Then there's surveillance. For 30 years I have read plaintiffs depositions under oath, stating what they could no longer do because of the accident, and then videotaping them doing just that. It was my positive attitude and upbringing that prevents me from being completely jaded. But, I know most people don't lie or embellish. However, too many do.

edutcher said...

Up to a point, true, but how does that explain the fact that Althouse is the Conservatives' Lovable Liberal?

Maybe Conservatives are more fair-minded.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Please let some of the hot air out of your head, Crack

Nope, keeps the afro plump. And like you're the truth-teller of the blogosphere. I know I read it somewhere:

Scott M: Speaking Truth To Power

Laying into everybody whenever anything black comes up, because he's "been there." Well, I've got news for you, Oh Great Talking Motorcycle:

Black conservative may not be a sweet gig, but at least, it's authentically mine.

Funny, but when it's Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas, you sing a totally different tune. But, when it comes to me, Scott M's knife is always poised - insuring I've got it coming and going. I know:

Because he's "been there,"...

Scott M said...

I know I read it somewhere:

Scott M: Speaking Truth To Power


Where? Because I can't find it and I don't remember writing it. If I did, it is 100% snark and probably easily identifiably so given whatever context it exists in. If someone else wrote it, I can't control that.

Laying into everybody whenever anything black comes up, because he's "been there."

Hardly. Plenty of "black" issues come up that barely get a notice from me. If it has to do with hypocrisy, I'm on it, even if it's my own. I "lay into you" in particular, especially on your initial comment on this thread, a) because I find it extremely hard to suffer blowhards and b) you're better than that comment.

Well, I've got news for you, Oh Great Talking Motorcycle:

Black conservative may not be a sweet gig, but at least, it's authentically mine.


Granted, but, and I've got news for you, it's not uniquely yours however much you believe it to be so.

Funny, but when it's Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas, you sing a totally different tune. But, when it comes to me, Scott M's knife is always poised - insuring I've got it coming and going. I know:

You waltz in and immediately talk down to the entire crowd here and you're going to hear from me because you crossed my blowhard tolerance threshold. Nothing irks me more than someone with an over-inflated sense of self-worth, especially when it seems to be rooted in martyrdom.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm not so sure about the word "game". Who's playing the game? And what game is it? Is it a prisoner's dilemma or the El Farol Bar?"

It's the blogger's game. You cast your eyes about looking for something bloggable, but what does that mean? You have your various theories and templates. They might be starkly ideological or quirky and idiosyncratic. Whatever. You look around and pick something, then present it, in whatever way you present it, but that way is probably some expression of what you template always was, whether you know it or admit it. You -- the blogger -- may not know you do this, but if you could look back over everything and understand it perfectly, you would realize -- I'm theorizing -- that you were, all along, playing a game of confirmation bias.

Scott M said...

Addendum: I don't even care if you HAVE an overinflated sense of self-worth. Hell, it might even be inflated to just the right PSI and you might actually be worthy of every square inch of pressure, but using it as a battering ram to smack others down in an obvious dominance display is just stupid.

Pastafarian said...

It's interesting that the Wiki cites gun control opponents as likely victims of confirmation bias, twice; but in their whopping one paragraph on its occasional interference with good science, they don't mention the AGW movement.

Perhaps Uriah Heep whispered something in the author's ear.

I will say that the two blogs I read the most frequently, Althouse and Ace of Spades, both seem to go out of their way to avoid confirmation bias compared to other blogs. Ace has written a couple of posts specifically about this phenomenon, I believe.

Saint Croix said...

False.

Blogging as Althouse does, with statements designed to provoke, and then vibrant free speech protections, inspires thought and debate.

For instance, Althouse is pro-choice, and yet she continually brings up issues that put her own beliefs to the test. I find that remarkable, inspiring, and really cool.

The Crack Emcee said...

Nothing irks me more than someone with an over-inflated sense of self-worth, especially when it seems to be rooted in martyrdom.

I love it:

Admitting conservatism makes a black the target of all targets, but hating anyone who laments the toll it takes because they won't be humble.

You're a real catch, Scott. Just the reason I keep the number of my friends as lean as humanly possible. You simply can't be trusted - especially when it comes to thinking.

You jealous fucking poof.

Scott M said...

Admitting conservatism makes a black the target of all targets, but hating anyone who laments the toll it takes because they won't be humble.

You seem to be the only one mentioned black today. I wonder why that is. Actual self-worth and value have nothing to do with the following:

It was until I came along. Now none of you know what to do with yourselves.

Why do you assume that everyone here is better off with you around?

You jealous fucking poof.

Nice.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Admitting conservatism makes a black the target of all targets, but hating anyone who laments the toll it takes because they won't be humble


Being the Son of Yhwh, led one rabbi to make a lot of enemies and to pay a high price, He didn’t constantly blog about it, though. MLK was a target, too, can’t recall him blogging and lamenting it. Either you are right or you are wrong, if wrong; STFU and change to being right, if right; STFU and keep on being right, but in any event STFU about the “price” you pay. Because complaining about the price, suggests you want sympathy, not to be right.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Why do you assume that everyone here is better off with you around?

I don't know. The continuous cries of "Crack Is right" or "I agree with Crack" or regular mentions as one of the best commenters. I DO know I've never seen your name come up on that list.

You jealous fucking poof.

Nice.


I thought so - I'm still laughing about it, actually, now that you've proven it got to you by mentioning it.

Get off me, Scott:

I see right through you,...

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I don't know. The continuous cries of "Crack Is right" or "I agree with Crack" or regular mentions as one of the best commenters. I DO know I've never seen your name come up on that list


Keep your clippings do you? You know they say never believe what the papers say about you.

Scott M said...

I don't know. The continuous cries of "Crack Is right" or "I agree with Crack" or regular mentions as one of the best commenters. I DO know I've never seen your name come up on that list.

If I put as much stock into what people think as you do, that might bother me. You must suck to be around when someone disagrees with you, even a little.

I thought so - I'm still laughing about it, actually, now that you've proven it got to you by mentioning it.

"Nice", sardonically, in the same manner a teacher might say it to a first-grader while simultaneously checking the "does not live up to his full potential" box on a report card.

They haven't invented a way for someone on a blog to "get to me" or anyone else with any semblance of mental health and sense of priorities.

It's no wonder you're such a rap fan, Crack. You share a common sense of self-aggrandizement.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scoot M,

I gotta go, but I want you to know this:

I know you. yes, you're that white guy who's lived amongst blacks, and you validate yourself by telling every other white person you meet what's what. But, the truth is, you have no love or respect for black people because you ARE jealous. You do see an indomitable spirit (for lack of a better word in a hurry) even in people you'd tag as losers - street bums, rappers, pimps, people this society, for whatever reason, will NEVER allow out of it's cultural cages - but you still know you don't possess what they have, and you're jealous. I read it in your every utterance towards me and other blacks but your approved specimens who are more like you than not. "White Men Can't Jump" and all that. Those are your peers.

I will never be your favorite because I will never be like you. You probably have a better standard of living, now, than I do. Do like most and laud that as proof you're somebody, even if you know better.

Just stop fucking with those of us who are, whether we get it or not.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

So tell me who it is exactly that regularly seeks to refute his own biases? I don't see it in magazines, newspapers, or on TV. Why should the blogosphere be any different?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I read it in your every utterance towards me and other blacks but your approved specimens who are more like you than not. "White Men Can't Jump" and all that. Those are your peers


*WOW* An Al Sharpton that occasionally votes Republican….You and he both share the ability to “know” what White People REALLY think, and both and you and he think Whites don’t like you….Jeez Louise Crack, get a grip…I mean next you be complaining about “niggardly” or “black holes”.

Scott M said...

I know you.

You know nothing, John Snow.

But, the truth is, you have no love or respect for black people because you ARE jealous.

I don't believe I've ever seen a more incorrect statement written by you save the one about how you "got to me".

You do see an indomitable spirit...

I don't see any such thing in any "society" anywhere. To say otherwise about you and yours is just more self-aggrandizement.

I will never be your favorite because I will never be like you.

You have never written a more accurate statement.

You probably have a better standard of living, now, than I do.

How could I possibly know? Or care? On the other hand, I don't pretend to know things about faceless avatars online that I couldn't possibly have any idea about.

Just stop fucking with those of us who are, whether we get it or not.

Are what? Better?

Henry said...

Ann Althouse wrote: It's the blogger's game.

Well elaborated.

Is it not, also, a game the blogger plays with the commenters? Put something out there, and see how quickly the commenters confirm it. The commenters play the game with the blogger as well, as they riff on the blogger's material. They riff in the direction of their biases which may not be the same as the blogger's.

Negative confirmation bias shows up in the presence of commenters who are preconditioned to see every post as a weak argument that confirms their negative preconceptions.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

ScottM said...

...using it as a battering ram to smack others down in an obvious dominance display is just stupid.


+1 Scott. This is his MO and has been as long as I've been here. And if you don't agree with him you're a New Age hippie peace queer. But then he had a tough life, so you're supposed to feel sorry for him and cut him some slack.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't know. The continuous cries of "Crack Is right" or "I agree with Crack" or regular mentions as one of the best commenters.


Oh bullshit. You're an asshole, Crack. Your comments today have cemented that.

Ann Althouse said...

Crack, would you seriously consider whether on your blog you practice confirmation bias? You certainly have a template, and don't you pick things to talk about based on how well they will fit in your template and then blog them in a way that imposes the template?

You do go looking for new age cultism... and you find it... and blog about how it is that.

Methadras said...

I agree. Oh wait.

wv = mentati = the children of mentats.

andinista said...

Derr r tiimss wen I refuuzz 2 reed & commt heer, cuz ProfAAs uniq confirmii bias is 22 much I get d idee dat weer bein toyed with: she puts out redd meat, all d pasionistas go crazzz, wich givs herr d meens to think: seee, ima riitt, doodzz who think diff r all droolerzz

Mosly now, d posts are techniee: how govmt is nottt workin well Less passionnn, but less intrestin

John Lynch said...

Ten years ago liberal and conservative blogs would link to each other every day. Now they don't. That was a check on bias- having to defend your beliefs to hostile criticism.

Then everyone realized that they didn't have to link to criticism. And a lot of the criticism was unfair, partisan, low, predictable and boring.

I like to think I'm more free of confirmation bias than most people. Who knows?