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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Testing logic

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Darren Blair

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For those who aren’t all that active on the internet, allow me to explain a bit of internet culture. There are a number of websites out there which claim to be focused on news, popular culture, and other such topics. Many of them, however, are actually politics sites in disguise; the writers have made up their minds, and would very much prefer if their readers not confuse them with the facts. For obvious reasons, sites like these are pretty well regarded as low-hanging fruit when it comes to parody and satire.

I normally avoid such sites, but enough people asked me to check something out that I decided to humor them. That something? This here test on Buzzfeed: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahjewell/what-percentage-sexist-are-you?utm_term=.bdxPegOev#.fi8xG1lGm . Note the title: “What Percentage Sexist Are You?”.  At first, one might presume this to be a mere Freudian slip, and that no author would ever dare outright declare that anyone and everyone has latent biases. But then when a person scrolls down below the top image, they literally see a statement about how this test is supposed to help you root out your biases. So yes… that’s exactly what the author is saying: everyone is biased.

As one can imagine, to compare the test itself to a dumpster fire would be to insult dumpster fires. After taking the test a few times myself and then reading the comments below the test, the full extent of the author’s preconceived notions began to emerge. Tell the test that you think chores should be split evenly and that it doesn’t matter who brings home the bacon? Sorry, not good enough; you’re guaranteed at least a 30% rating. Pick the image of the male professional over the female professional in any of the “who would you prefer” choices? Your reasons don’t matter. And so on. The whole thing is so heavily skewed that a number of women left comments talking about how the test said that they were sexist against women. Basically, if you don’t regurgitate the author’s ideology, then it means that something is wrong with you.

Gee… “Think as I think or you’re wrong.” Where have we heard that one before? Oh yeah… That kind of mentality seems to be everywhere these days. It’s the kind of thing I talked about a few weeks ago, in fact. It was the column I did denouncing the “You’re either with us or you’re against us!” mentality and the ever-increasing political violence we’re seeing because of it.

Well folks, a big part of that mentality is, indeed, the whole mindset of “Think as I think or you’re wrong.” It doesn’t allow for the prospect that the person themself could be wrong. No, it starts with the premise that they’re correct and goes from there. It progresses through “I’ve made up my mind; don’t confuse me with the facts” and, if left unchecked, eventually goes on to “Let’s punch _____, which by the way I define as anyone who disagrees with me.”

I’m aware of people in this day and age who think that freedom of speech is an antiquated concept that needs to disappear in order to censor the “offensive”. Problem is, the marketplace of ideas that permits the “offensive” also permits people to use reason, logic, and evidence to counter the “offensive”. Quite frankly, that’s how people *should* be countering ideas that they disagree with. Not with violence.

And yes, sometimes people need to challenge their own ideas. Otherwise, we get the echo chamber effect going… like the above test shows…

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