the-lastlostcontinent asked: Hey, I really like your tumblr, & trust me, I love reading up on just about anything. But my main problem is how bias most things written depending on the subject and the author. So I was just wondering, can I trust that what you write on all these great works are not bias? It won't make me think any less of this blog, I just want to be aware and if I use something I read here in a debate, I don't want it to be misleading or bias. & I know basically everything is bias but some can less/more so.
Of course I’m biased.
I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face. Everything I say and the way I perceive things is affected by who I am, and how I interact with society and my environment.
So is absolutely everyone else. So are you.
You have to look at the evidence, look at the writing on these topics, and make up your own mind. I can’t tell you what to think or believe, and you shouldn’t just believe everything I say just because I say it. My experiences and beliefs are exactly what leads to the formation of thoughts and ideas.
That’s why I include a lot of sources that show varying and even opposite perspectives.
That is why you don’t have to follow this blog or listen to ANYthing I say about anything in order to access the content. That’s why there’s medievalpoc.org, a flickr account, a facebook, a twitter. I’m not here to make anyone believe anything, or “convince” people.
Objectivity is a myth. We don’t suddenly stop being human when we start thinking about something! The problem is that there is a lack of openness, a lack of discussion, and a massive amount if bias that only goes one way. There is only one narrative, and no counternarrative. That’s not how academia is supposed to work, that’s not how history is supposed to work. It’s definitely not how art is supposed to work, but that’s probably the most rigid and inflexible of them all!
That’s why I try to synthesize a lot of perspectives here, even critical ones, even ones that oppose what I think is true. It’s not threatening to me to do so. And I do it for a lot of reasons, including to demonstrate when an idea or analysis has an overtly racist origin, but also sometimes just to offer some perspective, or a feel for what kind of writing exists on that topic. To show that there IS no “absolutely true” answer to a lot of the questions we’re dealing with here.
The rest is up to us. That can either be a terrifying threat, or an experience of ultimate freedom-which one depends on who you are.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes on objectivity and scholarship:
When the student of a social or historical phenomenon belongs to the culture in which it occurs or occurred, the choice of position is determined by the necessity to take a stand: one is either for it or against or tries to be indifferent.
However, even if the student does not belong to the culture that is being studied, the analysis will still bring to it value judgments that are accepted in the student ’ s own culture.
The demand for detachment in such studies, often encountered in the literature, is in any case unsound. It expects of the scholars a split personality which would remove all personal perspective and engagement from their activities as students.
This could only result in dull and mechanical and therefore meaningless analysis.
In fact, it does not exist in practice. What exists, however, is a pretense at objectivity by students who often ignore the fact that their views are wholly determined and thus distorted by current consensus.