Research shows that, when we are presented with information, our minds are often busy “bending the facts, sawing off inconvenient corners, and tossing away contradictory information so that everything can be fit into our ready-made boxes,” he writes. Unfortunately, this can lead to some very bad outcomes.
Source: How Bias Warps Criminal Justice
I have spoken before about errors in thinking. I liked how this talks about how our thoughts have no bearing on reality. I see this everyday when I help people. They have cute ideas of cause and effect with computers. For example, one person said that as long as she is in a good mood the computer is in a good mood. Of course the computer doesn’t care what your mood is, but I am not going to argue with that idea.
What is also striking is how honest and real the conclusions are. I like books that challenge my assumptions and this will challenge many people’s assumptions. I hope that it will be read because it has many interesting and valuable things to say. For example it talks about how many innocent people get caught up in the crime system, and that it doesn’t help the guilty ones. That we need to reform the system because it is ineffective in what it has been asked to do.
It is crazy isn’t it? We treat people in a way that doesn’t give them the opportunity to show their innocence or help themselves. Search YouTube for John Oliver’s discussion of lawyers and that your income determines your future. He said that 95% of people who have a public defender plead guilty. Isn’t that amazing? How can that be fair? Why didn’t someone do something before now? I had no idea of that kind of statistic. We don’t realize how ignorant we are until we learn something.
I once said to someone “I was pretty ignorant as a kid.” She laughed and said “Well that’s the best time to be ignorant.” The stages of our live give us opportunity to grow, and fortunately many of us do grow. I am glad to live in this time where we have a chance to address some of these inequalities. Aren’t you?