I’m biased.

(If you don’t appreciate rambling, run.  Fast.)

Home from work early today, I was absently watching the Local News at noon while smoking a cigarette, my mind wandering as it does.  I managed to catch the tail end of a ConsumerReports review on tablets; typical CR drivel spouted from his lips, and my mind flooded with nerd-rage as it’s prone to do.  The newscaster finished the report, and as a segue, lightly tossed, “I guess it really just depends on what you’re looking for.”  Whoa.  This a-typical sentence spurred a sort of semi-revelation, seemingly growing more and more profound.  It really does come down to your aim.  Now, I’ve always know this.  It’s common knowledge, different strokes for different folks, different products meet different needs.  The epitome of common sense.  This isn’t what struck me, caught me up.  It was the realization that the technologically inclined, the informed blogging elite, the nerds, all seem to be working directly against this.  We call for unbiased reviews, fair comparison, but can’t help but pick sides in a perceived war that may not actually be taking place.  At least not how we see it.

I consider myself a lover of technology, blind to anything but technical specifications.  I pride myself in the seemingly boundless bits of information I can recall from memory, from reviews and impressions, to technical performance and manufacturing processes.  I actively attempt to keep my opinions and speculations as unbiased as possible, while realizing that a bias is unavoidable at best, I feel I make due.  However, at times, be it sitting with the wife and son, or brainstorming in the man-cave, I can help but let my intellectual guard down, giving my idiosyncratic tendencies to come to the surface.  Allow me to set the mood, perhaps it’ll help you understand.

Lost in my thoughts, I’m brought back to reality by an Apple ad (Score one to the marketing team).  We’ve all seen them, so a description isn’t necessary.  Immediately, my mind is filled with dissent.  I’m irritated by the ad.  It starts with a repulsion to the abundance of ads, “It’s so popular” I think, “Stupid naves only care about styling”.  They demo some of the OS, state a feature, and all I can think is “Android can do that,WebOS can do that too.”  They talk about the dimensions, I attempt to recall something thinner, bigger, smaller.  The commercial ends, and I’m left with a funny taste in my mouth.

What I later accept to be logic is nothing more than an attempt to rationalize my distaste though believable and acceptable means.  Satisfy the logic, satisfy the conscience.  I seek to disillusion myself with logic and verifiable facts.  But why?

That’s where I found myself all of an hour ago; asking myself, “Why?”  Why would an otherwise objective person attempt to rationalise the illogical?  You can see it happening day in and day out, Apple vs Android.  We acknowledge they target different markets, we report on their creator’s vastly different goals, and yet we find ourselves comparing them as though they are in fact peers.  I wont make the Apples to Apples comparison (dammit), but in what rational mind would comparing two very different products, with very different goals, built using very different sources, targeting very different consumer bases, created by two very different companies represent empirical proof of superiority?  We impose our varying sets of litmus tests, make exclamations based on results, and ferociously defend those exclamations in the most aggressive of ways.  But why?

Why can’t we be happy with two exceptional devices, each with it’s own drawbacks, goals, and features?  Why do we seek to proclaim a victor over the two?  With the cross compatibility of technology today, the necessity of one unified architectures is no longer relevant, so that’s out the window.  The power of today’s devices allows for anyone to recreate the feel of any user interface, so that argument is mute.  If all the function is there, the delivery of data being the only variable, what does it matter who is the perceived best?

It matters because it fucking does!  It matters because people are warriors; combatants constantly looking for their next sparring match.  Regardless of who the technical victor is, it comes down to the battle.  We want to prove our intelligence, prove our wearwithall, prove that we’re the very antithesis of the average consumer, and we use our preferred platform as the weapon of choice.  But what we don’t know is what we think is the path to victory is really the path to stagnation.  If one platform were to succeed and become the overall victor, we’d lose our battle.  We’d lose our fight.  We’d lose our outlet.  Regardless of how illogical or impractical.

And this is where my realization comes in; it’s ok to be openly biased, it’s our nature.  Recognizing this bias is the key to journalistic happiness.  Fueling this bias is the path to journalistic success.  Quenching this bias is the road to boring consumerhood.

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One Response to I’m biased.

  1. midibite says:

    Great post and refreshing honesty.

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