Saturday 13 February 2016

If You Don't Think You're Biased, You're Doomed

So I wrote a thing recently that's somewhat outside of the bounds of stuff I cover here but also thematically linked to a lot of how I apply my education in statistics, science, and engineering to wider issues and sanity-checking stuff that's more political, legal, and social than my day job typically involves.

If the worst thing that can happen to you is being called out, your unexamined biases mean you're pretty much the opposite of the Rationalist or "man of science" you perceive yourself to be. This will lead you down blind alleys, being highly selective in pruning your sources to fit a narrative you like but is fictitious. Then you'll have a very public meltdown defending the factually incorrect dribble you thought was a masterpiece of factual reporting. If you think you're white but totally not racist, cis but not transphobic, etc. you're setting yourself up for failure the moment it turns out you are partially the product of your environment. Read about exactly that happening.

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