Tag Archives: poetry

A Set of Recollections on Confirmation Bias

I am of the nature to believe
that which is familiar and assumed
over that which is complex and unknown.
I have not gone beyond bias.

I am of the nature to believe
that the things on which I am biased
are truths, unassailable and invulnerable.
I have not gone beyond prejudice.

I am of the nature to believe
that if a thing corroborates my perspective,
then it is true, and all else is false.
I have not gone beyond misinformation.

I am of the nature to believe
that if an opposing thinker argues with me,
then it is down to their faulty position, not mine.
I have not gone beyond arrogance.

I am of the nature to believe
that when someone speaks words that I don’t understand
then they are confused, where I am clear.
I have not gone beyond error.

All of the things I think I know,
comforting and emboldening, will change;
it will all become strange to me.

I am the owner of my thinking.
I am the puppet of my thinking.
I am irresistibly chained to my thinking.
I exist because of my thinking.
Of my thinking I am created,
and through my thinking I will be undone,
every second of every day.
Whatever I think, for good or evil,
of that I am the heir.

–Based on the Buddhist text, “Five Subjects For Daily Recollection,” attributed to Siddhartha Gautama.


A Note On Intention: I do not intend for this set of recollections to be objectively descriptive, but to be personally prescriptive. I wrote it primarily for me. It is not meant to be used to identify and condemn confirmation bias in others; it is meant for me to identify, understand, confront, and treat confirmation bias in myself. If you find it useful, then by all means use it. If not, then feel free to discard it.