Human behaviour, Personal observations on life

Errors in thinking – Part 6

The mother of all misconceptions is the confirmation bias. What is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret all new information in such a way that it is compatible with our existing beliefs. It is the filtering out of information that contradicts our existing beliefs, assumptions and theories.

Imagine that you contact the Corona virus and become infected with Covid 19. You have to attend an interview, but since you are sick you cannot go for the interview. If you are an atheist, you might interpret this as an example of the randomness of life, a proof that there is not intelligent being or God controlling man’s life. However, if you are a theist, you might say that you were likely to do badly in the interview and God saved you from the embarrassment of doing badly at interview. Such is confirmation bias

Personal observations on life

Lock down thoughts

Brunei, finally, caught up with the rest of the world, and is in lockdown. Suddenly I find myself having to handle me, without the buffer of colleagues and routine work. I have to manage myself now. And this task is proving to be not that easy.

Come to think of it, I have been putting off having to face myself, so far. My insecurities, relationship with family and friends, what I like doing, and what I do not like doing, people I like and people I don’t like.

In many ways, Covid 19 has anchored us in reality. Suddenly, we know our priorities, what we truly need in life, and what we do not need. A life down to the basics, with no frills. Starkly visible, in high definition.

And I can’t complain about what I see.

Personal observations on life

2020: The world in turmoil

Few would say that 2020 has been a great year so far.

The invisible enemy, Corona virus, has made us all very humble. Both the mighty and the meek have been brought to knees by this micro organism, which has proven to us how weak and powerless we are as an organism. There is no sign that the worst is over yet. As more and more countries ease their restrictions, scientists are talking of a second wave, and then a third wave. The virus may be here to stay for a long time.

Hong Kong is reeling from the shock it has been dealt with by China. Protests continue to this day, though there is the pervasive feeling that there is little hope. Britain and the wider world are trying to lessen the impact, and engaging in measures in the hope that China will see reason. We have to wait and see what happens on that front.

There are border conflicts between China and India right now, and all hopes are pinned on a summit between the army leaders of the two countries due to happen one of these days. Even though war is a remote possibility, it is a very real one, with both sides stocking up their defenses along the border.

As if the US did not have enough troubles as the worst hit country in world by Covid-19, George Floyd was brutally killed by a police officer, for no good reason. The cold- blooded act was filmed and circulated in social media, and as expected, the country is now pulverized by civil protests against police brutality and the wider issue of discrimination against blacks.

As is often the case, the problems beneath the surface are more serious and concerning than the obvious ones. No free-thinking citizen of the world can be happy to see the free world championed by America and Europe lose their importance and become insignificant by degrees. Fascist forces rising is no good news for the future of the human race. For the sake of humanity, liberty, equality and fraternity have to prevail, in whatever imperfect form.

Let tomorrow be a better day.