Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Bias

Can We Fix Those Media Bias Charts?

Have you seen those charts that try to sort media outlets by political orientation? They have bothered me for years. They tend to use a single left/right scale, and they tend to position the centrist media as if it were “balanced” or “unbiased”. When of course the reality is that the centrist press has its own position, one which is distinct from both the left and the right. So I’ve been thinking–can I make a chart that fixes this? Can we chart political orientation in a useful way?

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The Biasing Effects of Personal Experience

One of the most common assumptions around is the notion that the only way to truly understand something is to be part of it. It is said that the best way to learn about life is to live it. This idea has tremendous influence–it causes method actors to attempt to directly experience what their characters experience, it causes people to go on trips or to do things purely for “the experience”, and most importantly, it has tremendous influence over how people think about politics, both for the left and for the right. The left scolds well-off politicians, who are assumed to have no conception of what it means to be poor and to suffer. The right scolds young people and ivory tower academics for not directly experiencing the welfare systems they praise, or the private systems they denigrate. There is a kernel of truth in both criticisms, but that’s about it.

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