Colors are hard to agree on
Editorial by Bobby Tingle
Pink and green are two colors that seem to be fairly popular. Based on my preference though, I should have said green and pink.
Green is not really a color, as I understand it. It is a mixture of red and blue. Mixed in proper proportions red and blue make a really nice combination though that is exceptionally appealing.
Pink is more like diluted red. You have to mix red with white to get pink. Since white is actually the absence of color, the reality of pink is that it is watered down red. Sounds a little bland, doesn’t it?
Now, if my favorite color is pink then some might call me pro-pink. But if pink is not my favorite color should I be labeled anti-pink?
My real favorite color is green. I am pretty hard-core on that color preference. Some might even label me a radical. I am so adamant that green is my color that I could be seen as a right-wing radical pro-greener. Or would that be a radical right-wing anti-pinker?
Some have tried to protest my favorite color choice but it has not swayed me. I consider myself pro-green. But, I am not necessarily anti-pink. I like pink but I don’t choose to wear clothing that is pink or drive a car that is pink. I am not opposed to either, but I would not choose it for myself.
Can we have logical boundaries that include folks that are pro-green and pro-pink? Some would insist that you have to make the categories pro-green and anti-green.
Now that you know I am pro-green, do you think that I am a naturalist? Green is a color but it is also used to denote one who is concerned with the environment. Naturalists may drive a vehicle that is energy efficient, or emits less pollution, or live in a smaller space in order to conserve limited natural resources.
This whole discussion seems confusing. It also seems a bit silly. But I am doing this on purpose to illustrate how we create bias with labels that categorize and often judge.
In the world of statistics, it is important to maintain logical boundaries. You must be collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive otherwise you will skew the outcome or results of your analysis. At least, that is what my statistics professor told us way back when. Mixing data in a biased way creates an outcome that is not real. Mixing words in a biased way can also create an outcome that is not real.
Can we skew someone’s words in a way that matches our bias? You bet we can. And we do.
Can we skew someone’s intentions by labeling them in a way that matches our bias? You bet we can and we do.
You see, hear and speak examples of this all the time. It is human nature. We all have our favorites. We all have our bias. We are all predisposed to a certain way of thinking.
That is why I like green. And nothing you say or do will change that. But I don’t think you are bad if you like pink, not real bad anyway.
Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.