This is a nice comedy shtick by the inimitable Tim Minchin. The theme is confirmation bias: the tendency to believe that which conforms to your preexisting beliefs, and reject what doesn’t. He begins with an example, American conservative beliefs, but then starts in on the progressives.
25 thoughts on “Tim Minchin on confirmation bias”
That was a good morning laugh… for a serious fuckwit kicking session.
Well, he’s half right. The other half, I didn’t care to listen to. 🙂
You don’t have to. It’s your job and duty to be an advocate for your client.
In his 2021 book, “The Constitution of Knowledge – A Defense of the Truth”, Jonathan Rauch addresses ten biases and major among them is confirmation bias. Helps me to understand why the extremes, both right and left, won’t listen to what I see as reason and logic…likely one of my confirmation biases
He’s great. He was on a long podcast interview with Lawrence Kraus some time ago. Interesting and talented chap.
I love Tim Minchin, but…
I am quite certain I don’t have any biases. I’ve used my education and keen mind to rigorously inspect all my beliefs and come out finding none of them to be in error.
And, if I’m being honest, I’m pretty sick of every ginger Brit going on about confirmation bias. I don’t know what it is about those people, but they just loooove to tell you about how wrong you are! I’m pretty sure at least 75% of ginger Brits I’ve ever seen do this.
You do realize that Tim Minchin is Australian, right?
Which other ginger Brits?
And, beyond Ricky Gervais, which other Brits in general? Genuinely curious …
And isn’t Minchin Australian?
I’ll trust your answers since none of them are in error.
jejejeje I wonder if these commenters thought you were serious?
People telling you he is not a Brit just confirms their one-eyed, closed-minded bias.
I am not prone to fallacies, but I know we should trust your edicts as you have self-confirmed that you have a ‘keen mind’.
Has anyone asked Tim about this? I know he’s an Australian redhead but maybe he identifies as a Limey ginger…🤷♂️
Me too. And it is a scientific statement which I confirm every time I argue with other people. It pains me to see lunatics like Minchin yap about how biased people are when there are plenty (practically everyone on WEIT) who clearly are not.
I literally just realized that one of my biases is thinking that commenters here are a heck of a lot smarter than people elsewhere.
Turns out they’re only a bit smarter 😛
Speak for yourself. I’m definitely a lot smarter than people elsewhere.
This is my favorite thread out of all I’ve ever created on this site 😀
“I’ve used my education and keen mind to rigorously inspect all my beliefs and come out finding none of them to be in error.”
That’s such great sarcasm, not overdone, but just right, which makes it great. A small masterpiece. I envy you for the wit, how stupid of me not to have posted such a comment myself.
And if you haven’t seen it, Minchin’s great anti-woo, pro-empric “Storm” is a classic:
Excellent, thanks KD!
He is ginger, he is not a Brit, or at least he has the strangest British accent that I have heard on this island, he is a clever chap and he is right.
Absolutely love Tim! It’s mighty hard to make bank in ‘Murica these days as a highbrow funnyman or woman.
Nonsense. Of course he’s British. He’s as British as Kylie Minogue and Richie Benaud.
Well, he was born in Northampton, UK…
Yes, Tim is Australian. Together with the Storm recommendation, readers of WEIT will probably also enjoy Thank You God (Sam’s Mum), also on YouTube. But Rock and Roll Nerd particularly resonates with me, embarrassingly.
I do wonder if the phrase ‘confirmation bias’ could itself be deemed to be unfairly biased, suggesting as it does that confirmation bias is essentially a ‘bad’ thing. ? Humans make and take every day decisions based upon biases, and without such biases we might not survive the day. Perhaps a better approach would be to emphasize the importance of finding the truth upon which biases may sensibly be based. Religion(s) would fare badly in this approach, biased as they are towards imaginary supernatural entities which invariably promulgate such notions as ‘My God is superior to your God; My Religion is superior to your Religion.’