Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Oct 2011 22:37 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Considering the polarising topic of software patents and related IP litigation is coming up a lot lately, I felt the need to write a few words on this thing called 'bias'. This word is being thrown around a lot, but I get the feeling many people are unclear as to what, exactly, it means. Because contrary to popular opinion, there's nothing wrong with being being biased. In fact, there's no such thing as unbiased blogging (or even unbiased journalism).
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Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Tue 25th Oct 2011 07:37 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I think the question is not one of whether we are biased but one of are we being objective? – is objectivity possible?

I am assuming that journalism is about producing an understanding of the world?

I would take the position that objectivity is problematic but not impossible. It is evident that our understanding of the world cannot come from simply observing the world. Rather our ideas about the world - our ideas our biases direct the observations that we make. This makes the connection between our ideas about the world and the way the world as it truly is tenuous. However I believe (and I consider this is not unwarranted) that it is possible to empirically understand the world, even if this understanding is tentative and fallible. Our ability to understand the world is cumulative and comes from the meshing of many pieces of evidence, which helps us build a complete picture or model of the world.

The problem comes when love or reify our ides so that in a conflict between observations of reality and our ideas we reject reality and cling to our ideas. At this point objectivity is gone all we have left is baseless ideology.

So the question is Thom is your bias used to form a position that helps you construct a coherent model of the world? or simply an ideological position that you would take whatever the evidence supported?

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