Saturday, July 13, 2013

Confirmation bias 101 for oxygen-wasting k-pop fandoms

This is just a little unspectacular and fairly unexciting post that I wrote mainly for my own benefit, so I can link other people to it rather than having to type out how confirmation bias works again and again for dumb fucks.  Maybe you will also find it useful to link people to if you've got some dumb fuckin' friends on the Internet like I do (and you almost certainly do if you hang around with the average k-pop fan, let's be honest).  Or maybe you are a dumbass yourself and could use some education (don't be sad - we were all dumb once).  Either way I hope that this post is useful for you in some way.

I realise that for those of you with an actual brain this is pretty Captain Obvious stuff and actually a really boring topic, so I'll try not to make it too fucking dull for the people who would rather be reading about tits and ass by inserting some eye candy here and there.  For the rest of you, try not to get too distracted while you learn stuff.




A film that's worth your time generally speaking is "Pi - Faith In Chaos", the debut film by Darren Aforonsky who also did the brilliant "Requiem For A Dream".  The film "Pi" or "π" deals not with circles and diameters and shit but with a mathematician who is obsessed with the idea that the stock market isn't random or controlled by semi-predictable market forces but has a system to it which can be predicted mathematically completely in the abstract.  Presumably he wants to get rich with this incredible secret once he uncovers it, but oddly the "I'm a lazy bum plus a greedy cunt" angle is never fully extrapolated in the film which instead uses the initial idea as a jumping off point to explore the psychological aspects of obsession.  This particular fascination that the main character has with a 216-digit number which he believes holds the key to the stock market is obviously fuckin' stupid beyond belief, and in the following scene our protagonist talks to a much older and wiser mathematician who tries to drive into his thick skull this obvious truth, in the process explaining confirmation bias perfectly and saving me a ton of typing.



In other words, if you're looking for X, you'll find X, whether X truly exists in any significant way or not.



Of course, the above example of confirmation bias (by which I mean the video of the movie, not After School's pole dancing skills which are very real - and to think people say this group isn't "talented" tsk tsk) is fictional, so let's look at another example, this time from the real world.  The clip you're about to see is from the documentary "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" and it's an excellent documentary which anyone with any interest in music should watch.  If you have no specific fondness for or interest in heavy metal you should especially make an effort to watch it, as the film is a highly entertaining beginner's guide which does well to bust many of the stereotypes about the genre, while never pandering to controversy nor brushing aside the style's uglier elements.  Those who are already metal fans on the other hand will enjoy the experience of watching their favourite music genre being taken seriously in the media for a change, but you probably won't learn much that you didn't already know.


Anyway, in the clip below, Dee Snider hands Tipper Gore's "Parents Music Resource Centre" (or PMRC, a censorship organisation at least as creepy and misguided as Korea's MOGEF) their own ass on a plate, exposing the confirmation bias at work beautifully.  I won't ruin it for you by telling you exactly what happens.


It's relevant because that's pretty much how all k-pop controversies, issues and theories work.  Netizens make up their mind "I want to believe X" and then they go hunting around for things which reinforce their belief in X while mentally discarding any information that conflicts with X.  Never mind what the truth is, or anything.   This goes for both antis and fans.  Often X is a theory heavily coloured by their own personal experiences - which is why bullying and sex are two recurring themes, as most netizens are young people who are either bullies or bullying victims, or both, plus incredibly sexually frustrated.  Combine this with study schedules, pressure to perform, frustration with having no control or power over their own lives and just being a little douchebag in general and it creates a powder-keg situation - it's easy to see why k-pop fans will believe any old bullshit that they read on the Internet as long as it already matches what they had set on in their minds anyway.  Hell, some of them even believe MY bullshit.


I'm sure that the girls in this blog's pictures will all thank you for remembering this information when their next controversy comes up before you start posting like a little bitch.

Also, I vote that T-ara, IU, Ivy, Nickhun, Rain and Se7en all get together and do a "We Are The World" style cover of this song.


That's all for now.  Thanks for reading... if you did actually do any.

40 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. That statement is usually used to compare religion to a penis. Not sure if it completely makes sense when talking about confirmation bias. Although I get what you're saying.

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    2. I just realized that even most religions are mostly based on confirmation biases. I'm not gonna name which ones cuz I don't want death threats.

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    3. People believe what they want to believe, because it's appealing for them to believe whatever it is. Nobody is a [insert religion/lack thereof here] if the thought of being a [insert religion/lack thereof here] isn't something that attracts them for whatever reason in the first place. The justifications and arguments then come later.

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  2. I believe confirmation bias is indeed some of the explanation for this rampant cognitive dissonance and the origins of it, but by far the best one I have deduced, is narcissism (tendencies towards such at least). Projective narcissism to be specific. You'll find it in near any "fan" base.
    (undefined)Insecure person projecting value into a person (or plain object to be honest) thereby issuing (real)objectification in form of the term "idolism", protecting, pandering, or interacting without recognition of agency for the secondary/third party. Common with authoritarians and/or political nihilists.
    Same behavior can be spotted in admires of the "strong and silent" type, as the projection is far easier without having to filter the person in question's expressions (since there are no consistent).
    With this, you could explain the larger amount of "fan" girls than there are guys.
    Wouldn't recommend it though.

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    1. Yeah neither would I. I would need a whole lot more tits and ass GIFs than are on my hard drive to get people to sit through a detailed explanation of all that.

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  3. You know, you wrote this article at the right time, with the Zimmerman-Martin case just wrapping up.

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    1. I didn't even know about that case until today when my Twitter exploded and everyone on my followers list suddenly turned into a legal expert. Just lucky timing.

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    2. I don't care about self-confirmation bias, this is how I feel:
      http://youtu.be/oewRadlyrHo

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    3. My FB timeline exploded with so much ignorance over this case that I was tempted to deactivate it. People allowed their emotions to get attached, so now they're stark raving mad and they're showing it in the worst ways. Same thing happened with the Casey Anthony trial.

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  4. ugh i thought psych was over
    i spent so many sleepless nights memorizing studies about this fml

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    1. That's why I put in all the T&A.

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    2. "memorizing"

      You're doing it wrong.

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    4. is this about british/american english because i thought everyone got over that in 2005

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  5. This is really the base of all hates towards T-ara bullying crap right?

    I have a regular kpop fangirl who thinks IGAB is good and tried to show me that even the music sucks hardcore to me, the lyrics is still good. I think she will rage at me if I show her this article lol.

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    1. Pretty much. Neither fans nor antis will ever know the real story, people just make up what suits them based on the minimal data available which is never enough to prove or disprove anything if it weere a legal situation... and then they write 50 page essays about it as if they have "the answer". My Hitomi article was basically just me doing the same thing with a random topic in the hope that people would realise how fuckin' dumb it is. Some people got the point of that post, some didn't.

      Lyrics and/or music being "good" is subjective because it just depends on what you like to hear I guess. I wasn't that taken with IGAB, thought it was an ambitious failure musically although at least they tried to do something different. The lyrics are kind of like "Summer Nights" from "Grease" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXlnMveRt-Y ), which I suppose you could call "good" if you wanted but it's pretty face-value stuff. Fine if you like that sort of thing, but call it what it is. The massive lyrical analyses that a few SNSD fans did on that made me laugh.

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    2. Well duh but pop isn't to be taken seriously except for economically, really.

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    3. RealJW you should introduce Alexander here to your fangirl friend. Don't forget to take chatlogs.

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    4. lol even though she might be delusional she's still my friend, even I myself tend to avoid discussing kpop with her, we are so conflicting, she likes EXO, 2ne1, current SNSD, etc and I hate all of them xD.

      And yes, it's so pathetic on how someone needs to defend a terrible song that HARD (I know I'm kind of biased towards Ailee's new stuff, but hey I realize that song is not that great too) .

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    5. I love IGAB (that shit was my jam when it came out), but SM shouldn't have tried so hard with it. If it was stripped back like that Katy Tiz demo was (minus the horrible lyrics), then I could see it doing a lot better.

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    6. Oh god, I had a conflict with someone like that... She kept on trying to tell me Taeyeon and Hyorin were Korea's two most talented singers and vocalists, and when I told her "Opera called, they don't want their 'talent' back", I just basically stopped discussing KPop with her... (And yes, she likes IGAB, and tried to hard with it)...

      Then again, anything is better than talking about putting a "Shiner on you"

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  6. I hope you guys write more posts like this. Tits and butts are nice and all but the point of the blog is expose fangirls' (and anyone else really) delusions, right?

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    1. We can't have every single article be about fangirls. Shinbi's STFU series is specifically about fangirls, and the rest of us do articles about a fangirl's comments or a specific problem in fangirl mentality from time to time.

      And no, read the FAQ and my summary under the Authors tab.

      "So what is the purpose of this blog?

      Just a collection of individuals who mock the ongoings in Kpop and often express their views regarding the antics of idiotic fangirls, music and other random shit. We're kinda like South Park in a sense I guess."

      "Originally meant to be a blog where AKF could actually post what was on his mind without having fangirls complaining about his opinions. If he wanted to say a group sucked ass, he would say a group sucked ass. If he wanted to say he would bang an idol, he would say that he wanted to bang that idol. Eventually the blog got more popular than he ever expected and started writing more about how dumb fangirls are while giving examples. Thus, Anti Kpop-Fangirl was more than just a fangirl-free zone, it also became a place to mock the creatures that made liking Kpop embarrassing."

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  7. Hats off to you Kpopalypse for writing an article this well. I've heard of confirmation bias a few times on AsianJunkie, but it's nice having it explained in depth here. I know many a K-Pop fan who would rage (especially T-ARA antis who are dead set on saying that they forced Hwayoung out >_<), but fuck them. You wanna be stupid? Fine, be stupid. Just don't get pissed when we point it out and and mock you for it.

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    1. Cheers. Yeah Asian Junkie has some quite good articles on it actually, but I thought it would be interesting to illustrate the concept by taking examples as far removed from the field of k-pop as I can think of, so people's opinions about certain k-pop groups positive or negative don't colour their perception of the underlying issue. Also, my post has more tits.

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    2. I'm more of an ass man, so your tits have no effect on me XD My favorite part had to be the Dee Snider clip. Metal is not my cup of tea, but if it's someone else's, then they're entitled to listen. Also, I love how intelligent he is despite what his appearance suggests XD

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    3. Dee Snider is a smart dude and in fact most of metal's more successful exponents are smarter than they appear (how do you think they got successful and stayed there with in many cases little or no major label support). That's not to say there also aren't some dumb fucks though. I'm a metalhead from way back although I rarely listen to it these days. I can still appreciate it though, and I love it when metal influences creep into k-pop.

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  8. This reminded of IU and Hyukjae's "scandal", when people start making stories out of one picture and bashing those who are near their oppas/unnies/noonas (ZOMG, look how they're sitting together, they must be fucking! We must kill the bitch who dares to sit near our oppa!), like they're insiders.

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  9. Pi was a very intense movie.
    It was like a more intelligent and actually good version of Electric Dragon 80000V or that other extremely similar Japanese movie that I just forgot...
    I had something more profound to say, but I forgot that too, while looking at the comments.

    Anyway, don't try to talk too much about movies, or some people may get bored of your articles.

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    1. Of course, a few minutes later I come up with the title again...
      Tetsuo.

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    2. I don't try to talk about movies, it just happens anyway. Don't push me or I'll start doing film reviews [insert evil laughter here].

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    3. Actually there's a few k-pop relevant films that I probably SHOULD review. Ahhhh you're giving me ideas...

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    4. are u talking about good korean indie movies?
      cauz i am always on the prowl for those

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    5. I don't want to give the game away...

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  10. Good for you for writing something that's intellectual but being honest here tl;dr.
    So much tl;dr.

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    1. You writing tl;dr twice is what's tl;dr.

      You could have just looked at the pretty pictures like I instructed.

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