Thought Experiments in Agency

We’re All Biased

Over the past few months, every book I’ve read has blamed our state of precarity on neoliberalism and Post-Fordism. So it’s dissonant to hear the reverence for Reagan in the presidential debates. Alas…

“Each of us thinks we see the world directly, as it really is. We further believe that the facts as we see them are there for all to see, therefore others should agree with us. If they don’t agree, it follows wither that they have not yet been exposed to the relevant facts or else they are blinded by their interest and ideologies. People acknowledge that their own backgrounds have shaped their views, but such experiences are invariably seen as deepening one’s insights… But the background of other people is used to explain their biases and covert motivations… Everyone is influenced by ideology and self-interest. Except for me. I see things as they are.

—Jonathan Haidt summarizing the research of Emily Pronin and Lee Ross in The Happiness Hypothesis (2008)

[NB: I wrote this a few days ago, scheduled the post, and then forgot about it. I regret the timing of the auto-scheduling. The loss of so many innocent human lives in Paris yesterday warrants a pause for reflection.]


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