[Paleopsych] bias and categories

G. Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 22 21:43:33 UTC 2005

> --Because people don't like to be fooled. And when
> there is a huge amount of information to sift through
> and all sources carry some bias, it reduces the work
> involved significantly if one takes a side and views.

Even more amazing!  But you are absolutely correct. 
And it isn't only politics in which this occurs.  The 
worst scenario is when it happens on campus.  In my 
undergraduate days in college I pledged a sorority and 
chose one I thought was unlike the rest in that the 
young women couldn't be typed as they could in the 
others houses.  However, when it came time to select a 
new pledge class I watch in disbelief how "slippers" 
made it into the house and women with a sense of unique 
persona became controversial and ended up being 
"blackballed".   The more mundane a person was the 
greater chance she had in being accepted by the group.

Back to politics.....I tend to think that an either/or 
choice only takes place in a two party dominated 
political system.  Totalitarian rule certainly 
eliminates this choice as should a multi-party system 
similar to what can be found in many European 

> Much harder to stand between two groups that are
> chronically suspicious and resentful of each other,
> and take truth from whichever side has more of it at
> the moment. Much harder to sift through all the
> information, tracking sources and sorting half-truths
> from distortion, putting everything in context, etc.
> That's all painstaking work, and even most 
> journalists
> will categorize information simplistically in order 
> to
> stick with the two-party dichotomy. If people can't
> categorize you, you're like the singer another poster
> mentioned who tries to cross over into a different
> style, alienating their original audience. It makes
> ideas and people harder to categories, and that 
> causes
> uncertainty and even feelings of betrayal.

Most academics follow the flow that you describe yet 
there are some who do not.  These unbelievers are the 
unique individuals who have discovered that truth is 
relative, lies within the eyes of the beholder, and is 
constantly changing.  These people are the scourge of 
their fellow peers and in many instances attract only a 
handful of students because they, like truth, continue 
to change.  Yet these are the scholars whose work will 
stand up to the test of time, especially if they can 
figure out how to create an alternate personna which 
fits into one camp or the other.

Gerry Reinhart-Waller
Independent Scholar

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