theobscureone: (Default)
[personal profile] theobscureone
Objectivity is a myth.

Discuss.

Date: 2003-03-31 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] envoy.livejournal.com
That's just your opinion.

Date: 2003-03-31 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
I never said it was my opinion. I just put it up for discussion.

Date: 2003-03-31 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] envoy.livejournal.com
Sorry I forgot the smiley face, I was just being sarcastic.

Date: 2003-03-31 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Stupid office computers. (sorry about that)

As I was saying. Good to know: any other thoughts?

Date: 2003-03-31 12:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] envoy.livejournal.com
I agree.

Objectivity is defined as the absence of something, in this case, bias. Whenever something is defined as the absence of something it is inherently unattainable as it can only be correctly defined by the complete lack of what essentally defines it.

Please note, one could say the same thing about 'peace'.

Date: 2003-03-31 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frostwing.livejournal.com
I've been reading some stuff about Jacques Derrida and Deconstruction lately, so that kinda of makes sense to me. (Which frightens me, still, all the same. :) )

Date: 2003-04-01 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Why does that frighten you?

Date: 2003-04-01 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Oi. I don't think I've gotten enough sleep to get my brain twisted around that bit. But I think I know what you're saying.

Now, if only we could just keep one biased media source (and make sure to tag it as biased) to define the other, objective sources as such.

man vs. machine

Date: 2003-03-31 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bedlamboy.livejournal.com
well.. in a hypothetical sense. it could be possible to create News Robots that simple gather data (events, facts and maybe even interview people) they would be able to report without any emotional bias.. perhaps their programing would have problems with the unpredictable nature of weather but you get the idea..

but even then, there can be no such thing as human objectivity when it come to interpeting that data/events/whatever because of, at least, the human condition.

so i would say that no.. it's not a myth, it's just humanly impossible :D

Re: man vs. machine

Date: 2003-04-01 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Hell, I'd prefer robots to almost any news anchor I've ever seen.

Silly humans. They need to be replaced. :-)

Date: 2003-03-31 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madamjolie.livejournal.com
In humans, yes. If you've been alive for longer than 8 seconds, something has happened to you that will color your perception for the rest of your life.

Date: 2003-04-01 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Precisely!

Date: 2003-04-01 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
Is also a myth, or so they say.

*applauds*

Date: 2003-04-01 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lipstickglove.livejournal.com
Objectivity exists as a concept.

-x-

Date: 2003-04-01 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
But that's about all, unfortunately. And we all know how well we all like concepts. ;-)

Date: 2003-04-01 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 428273.livejournal.com
You can have objective facts, but not objective opinions (about these)? I guess if two people can agree on something then that's objective to these two. If... blah, I hate concepts!

Date: 2003-04-01 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
And even facts can be biased, depending on how they're gathered. Statistics can be twisted in some impressive ways.

But I don't think if two people agree on something, that makes said thing objective. If anyone else enters the conversation, that thing becomes subjective to those two people again.

Date: 2003-04-02 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 428273.livejournal.com
But I don't think if two people agree on something, that makes said thing objective. If anyone else enters the conversation, that thing becomes subjective to those two people again.

of course, I never said anything else.

And even facts can be biased, depending on how they're gathered. Statistics can be twisted in some impressive ways.

I have a feeling that this is not quite right. Yes, statistics can be twisted in impressive ways, but as long as you don't misinterpret it, it should still be a fact. Hmmm...perehaps I misunderstand. An example of twisted statistics: How large a percentage of americans are in favour of the war on iraq. People will answer the question whether they're in favour of the war depending on how they understand the question. Some will say they favour the war because they want to support the troops (even if they at first were hesitant to support the war), some will say they favour it because they believe anything else would be unpatriotic (the US cannot do anything wrong), some will say they do so because they want Saddam Hussein punished (thinking that he's responsible for 9/11), some will be pro-war because they do want Iraq disarmed (here there will be two groups, one group who never cared whether the UN supported the war or not; and one group who do care about that, but now thinks that it's best to finish what's already been started in order to not waste time and thereby (hopefully) minimize human suffering), and then there's...I don't know how many more groups... I believe the key lies in realizing what exactly these statistics are saying, and what they're not. I think people tend to read too much into statistics, that they misinterpret what they say.

Date: 2003-04-02 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
I think people tend to read too much into statistics, that they misinterpret what they say.

It's not only that: like you said, much of it depends upon the phrasing of the survey. Surveys end up sounding objective because they use hard and fast numbers in their results, whereas there are many conditions that go into them. Even something so small as what the interviewer's wearing might cause someone to answer differently. It's crazy how many things have to be taken into account. Thus, I don't believe anything could ever be objective unless everyone involved was a machine.

Date: 2003-04-01 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luminette.livejournal.com
exactly.
loose summation: there is no absolute truth (even though it is a concept that fascinates me); nor can there be absolute moral correctness or absolute fact. actually, i wonder if i believe in absolutes at all?

subjective reality is my thing. so, yes - i'd say that objectivity exists as (oh, i forget the exact word) a philosophical concept, as the unattainable, as a placebo for the masses (hey, isn't the war, this latest crusade, based upon the supposed objective fact that 'saddam is bad'? etc etc. i wish i could think of a better, bush-unrelated example. now i just seem like a trendy know-nothing. but certainly, society's trust in certain objective facts is something that the establishment relies upon in no small amount.)

xx

Date: 2003-04-01 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quikslvr.livejournal.com
society's trust in certain objective facts is something that the establishment relies upon

Precisely. This is what gets me heated-angry when I hear my students spouting subjective reality (and/or the lies/circular rhetoric/inflammatory speech Bush has spouted) as "fact."

Date: 2003-04-01 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luminette.livejournal.com
same here. i mean, i personally think that mr. hussein is kind of abominable. but there are a ton of iraqi people who adore him - and is the propaganda they're fed any different to the propaganda we're fed? our countries have committed similar atrocities in their time. and who the hell are we, rich westerners, to assume that we know what is best for the iraqis? to assume that what works for us will work for them? to go in their and jackboot-stomp all over their beliefs, their truths? fuck that.

you know, the main reasons that the 'liberated' people of southern iraq are pleased to receive this negligible aid we're handing out are:

- the economic sanctions imposed by our nations upon them (not open saddam - he's still rich - but upon CIVILIANS.)

- the fact that, in the last gulf war, we encouraged them to rise up against saddam. then, when we realised that the war was going embarrassingly wrong for us, we fucked off home and left those poor people to deal with the retribution heaped upon them by the ba'ath party.

we are the real axis of evil.
my subjective definition of evil, anyway. :D

Date: 2003-10-09 11:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bullet08.livejournal.com
so is reality..
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