It's the usual bias that no one can escape. You have biases you cant control, the same as any other person!
I’m wondering if I’ve gone mad.
There’s this issue that I just can’t think about without one question occurring to me. For me, it is blindingly obvious, absolutely basic and impossible to avoid if you want to talk about the issue.
And the thing is, it doesn’t appear to have occurred to anyone else.
I’ve read plenty of media stories about the issue, and I’ve not found one that asks, answers or even obliquely mentions this blindingly obvious question.
The problem gets worse than that, however.
I’ve waded through lots of public comments on the topic too, and none of those mention the blindingly obvious question. Not even from those who usually are so very good at taking pot shots when the newspaper they love to hate gets it wrong.
But the problem is even worse than that.
I’ve taken a look at what some pressure groups have been saying on the issue. No dice; no question.
And it’s even worse than that.
Because it’s not a new issue. It’s one that has been going on for decades. Courtesy of the internet, I’ve been reading up on what has been said about the issue a few times before. No mention of the blindingly obvious question then or now.
Yet even there it doesn’t end. It gets worse still.
For there are the official press releases over the years from the government departments that have been roped into the issue at various times.
Now, what’s strange about these is that asking the blindingly obvious question would have been an easy way for those departments to head off criticism. And yet they never seem to have asked it. Nor, on being asked it by me, has their press team known the answer.
It’s just me and my lonesome belief in this question and the need to answer it. It has me mesmerised; I cannot see the issue without seeing the question.
We have politicians, media, the public, all discussing the issue over decades and never asking the blindingly obvious question. (Or if anyone has – and surely for the love of bar charts, someone has somewhere – it has been so low profile and infrequent that my searches have failed to find the cases.)
How can that be?
When you see things completely differently from the whole world, is it the whole world that has gone mad or is it you?
Oh, and what is the question? Let’s see if I can lure you into my island of sanity / insanity by leading you up to it.
Let’s start with unemployment. Imagine only talking about job losses when discussing unemployment and never, ever mentioning how many jobs have been created or what the net figure is. Only ever talking about the number of job losses and saying how awful they are.
When someone talks about job losses only and says how awful things are as a result, the blindingly obvious, absolutely basic and impossible to avoid if you want to talk about the issue is: “ah, but how many jobs have also been created?”.
It might be less than the number lost, in which case bad news. It might be more, in which it’s good news. Either way, talking about the job market and only talking about losses, never mentioning how many new jobs there are, would be daft, right?
So – take your leap with me – how come people talk about how many school playing fields have been sold off and don’t mention how many new ones have been created?
(And yes, there have been new ones: I’ve read stories about some of them, seen photos of some of them, even checked up the existence of one on satellite photography and caught a match mid-game. How many? I have no idea. Just as no-one else has.)
Here then I am left with my dilemma. For me, that question is essential. For the rest of the world, it appears not.
Either I’m mad or the rest of the world is.
You ponder that, I’m off to find solace in chocolate.