I was watching Bill Maher’s Real Time this weekend and I realized that the entire episode is largely a back and forth of hurdling facts and statistics at each other.
Pundits go back and forth clamoring for a moment to espouse their cherished perspective that should clear things up, if only everyone else cared about their perspective and weren’t trying to push their own.
As is typical, take any issue and you’ll find Bill throwing out a few facts that he thinks are most relevant. And then one of the republicans at the table counters with whatever they think is relevant that supposedly Bill is ignoring.
I don’t even have to go into specifics of an issue, I’m sure you are aware of this back and forth. Take the burning political issues of the week and then have a back and forth about my view is the right view and you have an entertaining hour of television.
And don’t take this as an attack on Bill’s show, most political TV shows are like this.
If you’re not relating to this, think about what happens when someone posts a politically polarized article on Facebook. If it garners attention, you’ll have a clash of cabals hurtling random statistics at each other. Likely along with some name calling and maybe even the occasional de-friending.
What does this accomplish? I don’t know. I know I’ve been caught up in it more times than I can count.
We’re all biased about the facts that matter to us. Take any important issue and you can come to just about any conclusion based on the set of statistics you chose to cherish.
We’re all biased. Knowing this, what would you do differently in these situations? What does the back and forth accomplish? If nothing, then, what would you rather do the next time a back and forth breaks out?
Would you rather recognize it and move on with your day?
How many other situations, beyond politics, do you find yourself going back and forth? Fighting over perspective? What would you rather do in these situations?