Thursday, July 08, 2010

selection bias

About a week ago, the NYT reported that the "climategate" scientist (whose name I'd forgotten) had been vindicated after the University of Pennsylvania (I could be wrong on the uni) had done an investigation. I sent the article to a friend who wrote something like, "surprise, surprise, a COLLEGE vindicated a scientist in a liberal paper." and discounted it altogether.

In the last couple of days, the independent research group assigned to investigate all of "climategate" came out with their investigation as well, which vindicated the scientists as well as climate change as a whole.

I'm sure this will be poo-poo'd as well, since it relies on research by scientists (ie. intelligenstia elites) as well as a British "Sir" (and we all know that British people are European-ish, and thus liberal).

This is the same friend who, when I told him to donate to "no on 8" years ago responded, "the liberals will all do what Dear Leader Obama wants them to do so it won't pass" and then later when I told him to write the Senators on the Armed Services Committee said something similar about repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

It should be noted that this friend is gay (it makes a difference in this case). Anti-liberal hysteria is such that facts are dismissed and selection bias becomes so absurdly overt that the following categories of information are excluded: anything foreign, anything with "Dr." in front of it (excluding Family Research Council), anything from a news source other than NewsCorps, or anything from a college. All those sources are excluded as valid because they don't conform to the bias already selected as "true" by this individual.

It's sad, but it's also no an isolated event. There are millions of people out there (liberal and conservative) who refuse to see even information as non-partisan. It's ridiculous and, sadly, instead of us moving beyond it, we seem to be delving more deeply into this tribalization of information.

The review is HERE if you'd like to read it.


Post a Comment

<< Home