Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons
Ben Shapiro, conservative speaker, will speak at an event at the University of Utah on September 27.
In our carefully crafted personal bubbles — where we customize which news, opinion and information we consume — we create the conditions for a confirmation bias of epic proportions. With our designer confirmation-bias blinders on, it becomes nearly impossible to consider anything contrary to our current view of the world. In the end, it makes us as citizens and neighbors not just short-sighted but nearly blind to the possibilities around us as well.
Not long ago, I took a call from a woman about the Bears Ears National Monument. The moment I picked up the phone she launched into a full-scale rant of anger and accusation that the latest move by President Trump was the last straw. She cranked up her rage as she breathlessly shouted, “I knew it. I knew it! Donald Trump is taking over the Bears Ears so he can build a golf course and resort on it!” I tried to ask a question, but the woman only accelerated her angry tirade. I think she had mastered circular breathing because she didn’t pause for the next 10 minutes.
I was baffled. It was beyond ridiculous to think the president was going to take over the Bears Ears and build a golf course. When the woman had finally expelled her last bit of venom, I tried to carefully ask why she thought a golf course was to be built in a remote area of Utah. My question reinvigorated her anger and she shot back that this act by Trump was beyond the pale and she knew it was true because she had read it in The Salt Lake Tribune.
I quickly pulled up the website to see an article by Robert Gehrke. Just under the headline in large letters it stated, “THE FOLLOWING COLUMN IS SATIRE.” It was classic Gehrke — wonderfully written, very witty, with just a smidgen of snarkiness to poke at people on all sides of the national monument issue. I don’t think I convinced her that her confirmation bias had blinded her — to the point that she saw only what she wanted to see — and prevented her from enjoying some great writing and a little humor.
The young conservative sensation Ben Shapiro will be speaking at the…