Friday, November 1, 2019
For many, that means taking to the cringy comments section for social interaction.
It's important to remember that he comment section in most online spaces tends to attract a larger percentage of (single/lonely/often bitter/cis-men/socially-isolated) folks statistically, who spread their (often critical, misogynistic, and/or hate-based) opinions and worldview based on that isolation.
Comment spaces are in no way a reflection of greater societal opinions!! This is critical to understand... (unless your sample gets so large that it truly begins to imitate your population.)
People who are generally happy with things/films/people/etc.. don't tend to regularly haunt the comment section alone on their computers and critique it; they're more likely to be offline/out living their lives in social situations and learning/interacting instead from their peers.
Any intro statistics course/book will drill this concept into you endlessly; to get an unbiased statistic (meaning something you want to know about a particular population) you need to use a random sampling method from your chosen population, or sample nearly all of that population anyway.
My most recent encountered example inspiring this post was from youtube comments (typical!)... particularly from all the people who had (assumedly) watched either the Season 1 trailer on youtube or some amount of the series "Easy" on netflix. (A friend recommended... haven't watched it yet)
The first ten or twelve comments I encountered were exceptionally critical, and I wondered why that might be; is the show really that awful (it certainly could be!), or is bias sneaking in? (Particularly noting that the show is about love/relationships/sex, etc..) What do all the women think? Happy people think? (I see so few of them represented overtly in the comments section generally)
We know that netflix removed ratings years ago for at least *some* similar reasons.. namely negativity bias, but also to get increased viewership of course! (Something prime video ever-so-painfully clings to for ethics reasons probably.... I respect it, however flawed and unhelpful)
...But long story short.. we rely on youtube comments/ratings now. Interestingly, the general upvote didn't match the first ten comments at all.. it had a whopping 3.2k up-votes/500 down. Why? Maybe satisfied people are good enough with a simple one-click thumbs up?
In stats you also need to use a large pool of samples to get a good result; the bigger the pool, the more accurate your statistic is. Bias can show up in countless ways; particularly in an online space like this. It seems that sometimes the loudest/angriest few tend to drown out the complacent larger crowd overall. (I think immediately to extremist movements)
We refer to user-generated comment spaces in statistical terms as "self-selection bias" (certain folks feel more compelled to comment than others) and in concert as "non-response bias" (of course, not everyone who watches the video also comments). As a result, we see themes like negativity bias arise; (ie: those that hated the show the most feel most strongly; and are more likely to comment!) :)
We gotta give Netflix at least some credit.. but youtube algorithms could use some major work too!! Until we find a better way of polling/sorting commentary online, never feel bad if you want to just skip the damn comments altogether; they're a great research tool, but so often weaponized!
...butt-hurt is real... but so is a broken system, combative partisan politics and income inequality. If you ask me, we need more love, respect and understanding in online spaces. <3 p=""> 3>
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Many white settlers here in North America like to feel better about themselves when they think they're taking the moral high ground based on others actions...
I'm better than ________.
At least I'm not a ______.
You name it .. a racist, a manipulative person, a sexist, a con-artist, a rapist, an abuser, a murderer, a thief, a gunman, a mysogynist, a nazi, a bigot, a pedophile, a smuggler, a killer...
..a *gulp*... trump supporter?!
...the list goes on and on...
And sure.. some ppl are trash.. hell, lots of ppl are trash!
But are you really better?
So maybe you never shot up a school, or raped babies, or blew up a bunch of nuns, or whatever the fuck else..
..but are you really going to call yourself a good/moral/wise person based on what you DON'T do?!
All kinds of awful people of ALL kinds exist.. but if you're a white colonizer living on stolen indigenous land you're sure as shit still one of them.
Get off your high horse and think of yourself as one of the bad people already.
Then go do something about it.
It's easier to think of other bad behaviors and people (like racists) as a lost cause..
...as those "other" awful people you simply can't stand to look at or talk to..
Yeah, well indigenous folks and POC don't like fucking dealing with opressors either. They're just forced to endure us every damn second of every damn day against their will. That's forced upon their lives.
I try to do good. I know that consistently open/non-judgemental dialog can and does change the minds and hearts of bad ppl over time. I know because I changed.
I grew up surrounded by abuse.
I was taught to abuse.
As a youngster, I abused.
I also choose not to abuse now.
I unlearned that shit.
People aren't born monsters.
Racism isn't biologically innate in certain humans.. it's learned.
I also know I'm not going to change minds by preaching to the choir either.
It's always seemed unfair (for me as a priviledged/rich/whiteIDd person) to not actively use my many privileges to try to dismantle systemic and internalized racism every chance I possibly get.
So I choose to talk to racists...
Because I am part of the problem.
...and I owe it to others to be part of the solution.
I don't like dialog with bigots anymore than anyone else.. but my education was never about me or for me. It was never about making things easier for me.
(the world doesn't revolve around me)
.....my education was in solidarity alongside those allowing me to be an ally.
I went to school on Duwamish land.. not for myself, but for all those who can't.
Why not strike up a conversation with a shitty person today?