Blog entry by Alan Chapman
Bias means distortion: of anything; thinking, system, action, etc.
We find what we seek, and here's why:
Bias is in almost all research. Most research is funded by commercial interests.
Most research is based on prior research, and is of course biased according to the aims of the researcher.
Research is mostly the assembling of 'evidence' to prove a belief or idea, or a commercial proposition.
Hardly any research is truly creative and exploratory.
Research is almost completely devoid of creativity, which is an artistic inventive discipline, very unlike modern research.
Research that is truly innovative is regarded as heresy, and usually is stifled very early by insecure establishment powers.
See for example Handwashing, Heresy, Alan Turing and Ignaz Semmelweis
And most research is never published widely enough to be found by anyone.
So the only research that can easily be found, is the research that is promoted by commercial interests and popularised by 'popular opinion', which is determined mostly by bias. And always the strongest bias is that of leadership power and wealth (economic and political - together, basically the same thing, each feeding and supporting the other).
Books before the Internet were only published by publishers, according to what would sell books.
And so most books are basically opinions.
Most of history is distorted too.
Because history is recorded and published with bias, just like research is done and driven by bias.
Most people are effectively and successfully brainwashed by political and economic leadership.
It's systemic and partly intentional, but mostly systemic or 'functional'.
(Read about the Nazi Holocaust. It's a very similar story of human systemic madness - driven by fear - just like today. See the digital holocaust.)
Bias and prejudice - meanings
The word bias is quite recent, from the 1500s in English, from French, and so emerged after the Norman invasion (1066) and colonisation of England.
In thinking - about life, oneself, others, etc - bias equates to prejudice, which means "preconceived opinion not based on reason or actual experience..." (OED). Prejudice also is a middle/medieval English word - from earlier legal meaning in Latin, praejudicium: 'in advance' + 'judgement'.
It's interesting that both bias and prejudice became popular enough as notions, to warrant these new words, only about 500 years ago. Of course, distorted thinking has existed for perhaps as long thought, but popular awareness of the concept is probably much more recent.
Certainly, bias and prejudice have huge effects on life and nowadays, because of the distorting influences of big technology, social media, and mainstream media, which are part of a cycle of mutual influence with public users and consumers, within a globalised free-market capital system:
Basically, mass-market information is produced according to what mass markets (people) want.
And this fuels global politics, economics, and all of the institutional supports of these things (education, health, etc).
Bias is hidden
The great power of bias is that it is mostly hidden.
And so people aren't aware of it.
Most people see the world and life and everything as they see themselves internally, not as things are externally.
So all of life (and death) is relative, according to one's perspective.
Bias is embedded historically self-selecting and self-reinforcing
For most of humankind's existence (many tens of thousands of years, and about six million years if we go back to the earliest 'homo erectus' hominims) people have only been aware of their immediate tribe, of nomadic hunter-gatherers or forest-dwellers.
About 10,000 years ago, towns and cities and governments began to form with the agricultural revolution, but bias across humanity was not globalised or even nationalised until just a few hundred years ago, when books enabled ideas to be shared between leaders, and taught/cascaded to followers and slaves, etc.
Women and children, and ancient indigenous peoples (Aborigines, Native American Indians, Africans, etc) were of course among slaves then, as many still are now.
Biases caused this to be regarded as 'normal' and 'okay' then, as still now, and modern media (bias) hides much of this reality.
Bias is self-selecting and self-reinforcing
In modern times this is more obvious and easier to explain than ever:
Basically, we find what we look for.
This is true especially of academic research, which is generally regarded as 'truth'.
And yet, virtually whatever you want to find, in order to educate yourself, or to 'prove' a belief, you will be able to find - among academic research.
Try it, you'll be amazed.
Search for the opposite of what you believe to true, and you will find academic research which claims and seems to support it.
The Internet has become everything for everyone.
Anything to anyone.
And social media, and modern political systems (which were all designed hundreds of years ago), uses all of this contradictory nonsense to govern us all, and make laws for our crazy economic system.
I'm just opening doors and planting seeds.
Think for yourself.
Believe what you can prove yourself.