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LISTS :: A FULL DISCLOSURE OF MY BIASES
I'm a journalist, and I have opinions. For more details, read my blog post about this here.
1. As my boyfriend likes to say of himself, "If I'm biased in any direction, it's toward intelligence." That's the umbrella criterion that encompasses just about every other bias I have.
2. I'm biased against those who exhibit insincerity and duplicity. This includes advertisers and PR spokespeople who lie or misrepresent their product, as well as manufacturers or salespeople who knowingly create or promote counterfeit and/or substandard goods. I'm all for off-brand or generic products; what I'm against is the deliberate attempt to hoodwink the public.
3. In the context of my profession, I'm biased toward those who exhibit an understanding of grammar and spelling—and even more so toward those who know how to use rhetoric. The flip side of that coin: I'm biased against those who fail to meet the most basic standards for quality assurance in their work, as well as those voices in my industry who continually push to get more for less at the expense of accuracy.
4. I'm biased toward those who show kindness, mercy, fairness, and humor in their everyday dealings with others. I appreciate professionalism—but not when it's to the detriment of humanity. Hypocrisy and uneven application of standards are big problems for me, though I completely acknowledge that these things can be highly subjective.
5. I'm biased against those who use rhetoric as a means to nefarious ends, especially those who use it to recast earnest pleas as "attacks" and vice versa—and then turn around and claim not to be using it at all. Rhetoric may be a game, but it can have very high stakes.
6. I'm biased against those who create and promote products and practices that unexpectedly endanger the health and well-being of myself and others. (There's of course a difference between those products meant to endanger the health and well-being of others, e.g. weapons deliberately purchased for self-defense, and products promoted as healthy or useful that turn out to be neither. And then there are weapons of mass destruction, which fall into another category altogether, with its own set of ethical issues.)
7. I'm biased against those who deliberately and unnecessarily harm animal and plant life. I'm not a PETA member; I eat meat. But I'm against harming or endangering other species for human happiness. Those who have raised my ire along these lines include whoever turned the bird on my fire escape out of its nest and a family member who threatened to bury alive a pond full of fish. (Invasive species and fetuses, however, are entirely different realms of discussion.)
8. I'm biased toward those who demonstrate intellectual rigor, clear thought, and a hacker mentality, regardless of whether they're working to improve physical objects or abstract processes. The flip side of that coin: I'm biased against those who mindlessly seek to maintain orthodoxy and the status quo in any arena.
9. I'm biased against those who fail to examine the potential consequences of their actions. Similarly, I'm biased against those who seek to stay with the trends at any cost (or push others to do so), especially when they waste resources or harm the environment in the process. It's their choice—but not one I agree with.
(There are degrees of this, of course; in my own life, I'm probably still more wasteful than I'd like to be. Still, I try to embrace the spirit, if not the letter, of Lloyd Dobler's mantra in Say Anything: "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.")
10. I'm biased against anyone who clearly promotes robot supremacy. Obviously there's a lot of gray area here; extensive use of the Internet, one could argue, may well be leading us toward just such a fate. Still, I for one do not welcome our new robot overlords.