Blog #5: Beware The Nobiased! We’re All Biased

To be biased is to be influenced by one’s preferences or preconceived notions. The desire to benefit yourself and what you favor is part of human nature. To treat those you like and those you dislike equally is to not be human. It’s incredibly inefficient as well.

If a close friend of yours makes a radical statement, you’ll likely interpret it in a positive sense. You know that this close friend has been good in the past, and you believe that this radical statement is consistent with his/her past behavior and was likely made with the best of intentions. On the other hand, if an enemy of yours makes a radical statement, you would interpret it in a hateful and negative sense. These judgments are biased, but also logical. If you’re correct in your belief that your enemy is a bad person, then it’s logical to assume that this radical statement was made with a negative intention.

The process of bias is impossible to overcome. Steps can be taken to be conscious of bias, and to remove oneself from conflicts of interest, but to claim an unbiased perspective is to claim the nonviable. Beware the nonbiased. Instead, find those that make their bias quite clear. Find a clearly biased source, then find another clearly biased source from the opposite perspective. Better yet, find even more from other sides. The full truth will never be provided by a single source.

Thankfully, in the age of the internet, just about anyone can post information, whether it be on Twitter, a personal website, or an Op-ed. Some claim that this has ruined journalism, but the opposite is true. The fact that anyone can post anything makes us skeptical of what we read. If anything, we need more skepticism of media. From InfoWars to CNN, Breitbart to Salon, Fox to MSNBC, all media has a slant. That’s only a bad thing if these sources attempt to hide their bias or claim they’re not biased.

This blog post is also on Medium.