Biased

>> Thursday, April 26, 2012

I have to admit, I've been thinking about my biases over the past day or so. Because I am completely biased, I'll admit it, and I'm not wholly sure that's a quote-unquote "bad thing"; I mean, we all value the impartial observer, sure, but a lot of times in practice "impartial" is really synonymous with "doesn't know shit". Surely the issue isn't whether you have bias but recognizing it and cheerfully admitting it and trying not to let those biases get in the way of objectivity, of adjusting for what you expect to see when you're looking at something.

I'm a socialist technocratic utopian, or something along those lines. I believe in redistribution of wealth and nuclear power. Blame Gene Roddenberry, probably: in the future we'll have no money and the benign fascists of the interstellar alliance will send spaceships whisking around the galaxy to troubleshoot problems, none of which are too big to be solved in forty-seven minutes by judicious applications of science, reason and empathy. Which is all a little silly when you put it that way, and we also might have to admit that in a lot of ways Star Trek (in any of its incarnations) was often a better idea for a television show than it was an actual show, but, you know, who doesn't want to go around the universe convincing everybody science works by proving their religion is based on aliens and/or rogue AIs?

I believe in capital-R Reason and putting yourself in another guy's shoes as often as possible. Not literally, notwithstanding my belief that those to whom society gives a great deal society is owed compensation and future investment in due course; there is a line that can be drawn at shoes. I believe that technology is generally a force for good, although we all can catalogue the awful applications it can be put to and all of the historic disasters that can be filed under "unforeseen complications". I don't believe in being reckless, by any means.

But if you put to me two options, one involving something scientific and shiny and the other involving something intangible and traditional, I have to admit I'm going to pick scientific and shiny pretty much almost every single time. That's just how my mind works.

I believe that all things follow a dictum of adapt or die: living creatures, institutions, societies. And this sets up a progressive impulse in me, a tendency to think that a new development requires change, not locking down the new development, necessarily. Which is ironic insofar as day-to-day I am awful at dealing with change in my personal life; I think there are aspects of my growing up that have left me insecure and therefore something of a control freak and ergo things I can't control tend to scare me and things I haven't learned to control intimidate me. Some things are easier to believe in than to do, but this is something else I'd like to think I recognize and can try to grapple with. I should also point out that some changes, many changes, aren't good, but that has no impact on the dictum: I mean, a change may absolutely incontrovertibly suck balls but that doesn't mean your choice isn't what it will always be, adapt or die.

I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract. I always end up saying that--sometimes aloud, sometimes just in my head--whenever this subject comes up. I don't know for sure, exactly, one-hundred percent what it even means although it's so damn evocative; I feel what it means, I think, even if I don't really know. It possibly means adapt or die. Again.

I admit these prejudices bend my perceptions like a beam of sunlight through a half-glass of yellow wine.


5 comments:

timb111 Friday, April 27, 2012 at 4:10:00 PM EDT  

Watching your R.E.M. link made me wonder when all that dancing and motion became part of live music. It certainly wasn't part of the first live concert I attended.

I was 15 when Crowbar came to Red Deer. I went with my best friend Doug and a mickey of Cherry Brandy. The most action on the stage was when the drummer grabbed a light standard to keep it from falling into the "crowd". If looks like forty years later their style hasn't changed.

I would rather have linked to "Tits Up On the Pavement", but it doesn't seem to exist on the net. I hitchhiked a lot when I was 15 and that song spoke to me.

Eric Friday, April 27, 2012 at 4:47:00 PM EDT  

Timb, I'll submit this exhibit of dancing and motion and live music not because it's first but because it remains one of the best, the gentleman in question still being at the top of his game in 1964.

Eric Friday, April 27, 2012 at 5:04:00 PM EDT  

Oh yeah, these guys had the unfortunate job of immediately following Mr. Brown even though they begged not to. The lead singer has one or two moves of his own. You might even draw a line between him and Stipe, however odd that might seem.

timb111 Friday, April 27, 2012 at 5:48:00 PM EDT  

James Brown? You can't throw James Brown at me. That's not fair, he's far beyond ANBODY I've seen perform live.

I meant Rock Music. But you're right, look at early Elvis, maybe you'd call it Rockabilly but it'll do. I guess none of those active folks came to Red Deer (pop 20,000) in the early 70's. I

Eric Friday, April 27, 2012 at 8:23:00 PM EDT  

Well, that's why I followed up with Mick Jagger, just to duck any kind of rock/funk distinctions.

Some guys have just got to move. The most active rocker I've ever seen in person was Springsteen, who shakes his ass. Dave Grohl was a kinda close second.

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