Posting to Autocat
On 9/10/2015 7:07 PM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
So the problem with selection seems to be the potential for bias, conscious or not. Why not consider the process of selection */primarily /**/an opportunity/* to practice and support critical thinking and avoid bias, instead of on picking materials? Do that and the picking becomes automatic.
Selection is also an example of politics, considering the number of people involved and affected. Picture a political system (electorate) that */winnows out/* politicians with biases (ideologies) and those who are opposed to critical thinking.
No. The idea for libraries is not to try to avoid bias, but to present all of the biases (or as many as possible) in all of their respective glory.
I don’t really care if people “think critically” or not. What takes place in someone else’s mind is their own private business. I will leave the internal workings of their minds alone, if they will leave my own mind alone.
If everyone did think critically, the world might be a better place, but it is just as possible that it would become even worse than it is now. There are definitely situations and places where you don’t want people to think critically but just concentrate on the task at hand. I can’t help but think of the dangers of thinking as shown in one of my favorite Monty Python sketches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5fGSBsfq8
As far as I am concerned, if you show people the richness of the world: be it in the physical world or the animal world, in human relationships or in the twists of human thought and human history–where in all parts of it you will find everything from the wonderful to the bizarre–just being aware of some of these curiosities will open people up to new ideas. They can use their own judgement to decide what they like and don’t like.
That’s what a library should be.