Is This Hyperfocus, or What?
I get caught up in crusades. They seem worthy, but are they worthwhile? Do the politicians listen to us? Is anyone’s mind ever changed?
Confirmatory bias is universal. We emotionally reach a decision or take a position, then we collect any information that supports it and ignore or dismiss any that doesn’t, and then we think we’re being logical.
(I’m about to offer some of my opinions, based on data I have so far.)
Here’s my recent crusades. Do other people do this?
I get very frustrated with the misinformation. It’s not about mental health, although God knows our health system needs reform. The mass shooters, with one exception, have been frustrated, unhappy, screwed up people, mostly seeking notoriety, but they are not technically mentally ill.
The media promotes this phenomena.
They have not been criminals, not before.
The mass killings catch our attention, but the bigger problem with guns is the daily suicides, accidents, misidentifications, homicides. Research shows that those who have guns to “protect” themselves and their families suffer these problems more often than they ever successfully “defend” themselves. (And do you really want to kill a 16-year-old kid who is trying to steal your TV? Really?)
Thus, laws to prevent criminals, domestic abusers, and mentally ill from acquiring guns are all very worthwhile, but have nothing to do the mass killings. The NRA (Not Rationally Armed) is delighted to see us focus our attention on these distractions and red herrings, while missing the real problem – guns, large clips, multiple clips, specialty ammunition.
The net is recently flooded with misinformation and propaganda against vaccinations. This is dangerous. I have lived through polio epidemics, seen children with whooping cough, and seen the aftermath of measles. If it were not for people refusing vaccinations, polio would have been eradicated years ago. Vaccinations can cause complications, usually mild. There can be serious complications. These are so rare that it cannot be determined if they were caused by the vaccination or by coincidence.
For example,vaccinations can cause fevers, and in young children fevers can cause seizures, and seizures can cause brain damage. If an uncommon occurrence (high fever) uncommonly causes something (seizures), which uncommonly causes something (damage), that last something is going to be rare. (.o1 x .01 x .o1 = .000001) People who protect their children from these extremely small risks are endangering all children.
The claim that vaccines cause autism, just for one example, has been totally discredited.
This blog is already too long, maybe next time.
- This post originally contained a rant against the red herring of banning assault weapons, which I thought referred to automatic weapons, but in fact are the semi- automatic version of assault rifles. I was wrong. Confirmatory bias was at work.
2. The Bully is published. Now it takes an enormous amount of time, especially with ADHD, to do all the blogs, and links, and posts, to advertise it. And most everything I do takes more time than I could have imagined. Do I have time for crusades?
3. There is no point in trying to have a discussion with a drunk, a conspiracy theorist, a gun nut, or an ADHD denier. That is truly a waste of time.
Question O the Day
Do you get caught in crusades? What do you think about these ideas?
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