A Question Of Whose Side You’re On

Yeah, I know I haven’t published a new chapter in The Poxes in a while. Relax.

Anyway, let’s talk about bias a little bit. Take a look at the following clip:

Did you see that? The player in red (Chile, I think), grabbed the arm of the player in yellow (Colombia?), and hit himself with it. Clearly, it was not a foul. But the ref still called it a foul and gave the ball to the Chilean team.

What the fuck, right?

Unfortunately, a lot of things in life work the same way. The deceit is especially tricky, or the person making the call is not paying attention (or not informed enough to make the good call).

People who make pseudoscientific claims do kind of the same thing. They’ll take a fact about their pseudoscience and run with it. For example, homeopaths will say that their remedies are free of side-effects, and they’re correct. However, their remedies are free of any effects.

Now, people who want to believe in homeopathy will believe it no matter what. It’s actually a very low number that will change their mind when they are presented with evidence. Very low. Those who won’t change their minds will – sometimes literally –  go to the grave for their belief. They will see the Chilean player clearly grab the arm of the Colombian and hit himself with it, and they will still say that the Colombian was a dirty player.

People of science, critical thinkers, and anyone else that likes to look at the evidence presented to them before jumping to conclusions, those people will see what really happened and act accordingly. Can they be tricked? Of course. They’re human. But they are much more likely to change their mind to what is right and what is fair rather than stay in a state of darkness that brings about harm to others around them as well.

I’m not saying that everyone in the world should take up a scientific discipline and become a critical thinker. It wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that there are two factions – at least – who are in a battle for the minds of the public. On the one hand, you have the charlatans, those who would send you sugar pills and attribute to those pills all sorts of magical acting. On the other are the people who hold themselves to a higher standard, to not deceiving the public. Rather, we’re here to point out the Chileans in the world, so to speak, who are trying to trick you into losing the game.

It’s all a question of whose die you’re on.