Contemplating Confirmation Bias

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As I sit here at my allergist waiting on the all-clear after my shots, I’m thinking about something that’s been bothering me for a while.

It’s called Confirmation Bias, and it essentially means that once you’re in a camp, you tend to take inputs that agree with that camp. And as you do so you become more and more convinced that your camp is right. You essentially isolate yourself from information that might change your opinion, and as time goes on you become more and more convinced that you are correct.

This is bad.

It severely limits the ability for logical people to intelligently discuss the issues. Each participant is subscribed to his own reality, and each is convinced that he is the logical one. It becomes a futile endeavor to even debate, as each is already convinced based on belief rather than fact.

I’m worried about this with myself. I read Reddit quite a bit, and there is zero pro-McCain content on the site. None. This troubles me greatly, as the odds of him not being right about something are very low. It says to me that even if he were to be right it would be squelched. At this point I have to doubt the non-biased integrity of the medium.

So here’s a question in point: are the Democrats/Liberals not significantly to blame for the sub-prime problem due to their insistence on “everyone” being able to own a home? Doesn’t that directly lead to pressure to loan to those who are unqualified? And don’t they stand to gain politically from the appreciation of those with sub-prime mortgages?

This seems quite logical to me, yet it’s not the type of thing you’d ever see on Reddit. Why? Well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s stupid, and if that’s the case then great. But there’s a more sinister possibility, i.e. that it is logical, but that it points to a flaw in the liberal narrative. That option is what troubles me.

Don’t get me wrong–I already voted for Obama and I’m rather sure that McCain is even more dangerous than Bush, but I’m uncomfortable with the fact that so few intelligent people disagree with me within the circles I frequent.

Quite simply, I need to expand my inputs. I need to seek out those who can find problems in my understanding, not simply reinforce it. If you have any suggestions for logical, right-leaning content, please let me know. I’m all over the Ron Paul economic theory stuff already; what I’m looking for is intelligent pro-McCain commentary.

If it doesn’t exist, that’s fine. But I’m damn sure going to look. I refuse to succumb to the bias of groupthink.:

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