There is no reference to gaming here as a word of caution. This is about improving yourself and I'd appreciate it greatly if you gave up 5 minutes of your time to read my thoughts :) (Edit: I changed this top headline to sound less dick-ish, as was mentioned)
I'm going to go on a whim here and assume that most of us here on GiantBomb.com are no older than 25. The reason I bring up age into question is because it relates with how much you have learned and experienced up onto this point in time. What is really startling to me (Though honestly not surprising), however, is the level of assurance and 'my opinion-is-fact' being thrown around. This is true for all of us here, on giant communities like Reddit, and almost everyone around the world.
There have been studies to suggest when viewing contradictory evidence, philosophical points, and ideas that we actually cling stronger to our own viewpoints. (See: http://www.skepdic.com/backfireeffect.html) One of the hardest things to do is to admit to ourselves, let alone anyone else, that our point or reason is wrong. Even when there is overwhelming conflicting reason to suggest otherwise we will cling to anything out there that will help reinforce our own ideals. This is frankly because it makes us comfortable. The unfortunate thing about that though is that it makes us unreasonable and irrational.
And this is the point I wanted to raise someone as my example. I'm sorry to use you as a scapegoat Yagami, but you are the inspiration for this blog post. As I am sure most of you blog readers know Yagami has posted some pretty controversial stuff. I'll put up a quick snippet I had posted in Yagami's latest "Honor" blog post.
...We are both young, but you and I need to realize we still know jack shit about the world. There's more to understanding it than regular visits to the Reddit front page (which seems to be almost a copy + paste of your ideals). Listen to lectures counter to your ideas, watch a debate, and a read a book to challenge who you are...
...I'm a proud atheist such as yourself, and I would like to think because of this you are a little more open to evidence and observation. If this is the case please reevaluate yourself and don't be so set-in-stone on such controversial view points like this. I'm not saying don't take a stand, but consider other ideas that have sound support.
I feel like like I make my point pretty clear here. If you get your source of information and ideas from one website or group of people, you will have your own biases that you'll have to deal with. It's going to affect all of us at some point and it already has in many ways. It's inevitable, but one thing you can do is make a conscious effort to consider other material that may make us uncomfortable - And let me note here: Not through the "backfire effect" lense. Consider and research the points that are raised. Don't simply ignore them and go back to your favorite website to read how wrong those other guys are.
As an Atheist I have both read 'The Holy Bible' and 'Qur'an/Koran' in their entirety. I've read research papers done by Christians on why creationism is true. And I've listened to lectures on how there is evidence for God. These are just a few examples. What does this help me do, even though they may not have convinced me? It allows me to have an intelligent discussion/debate with those on the other side of the spectrum of viewpoints. You gain an understanding as to why someone might think the way they do. Most importantly you can empathize and speak on a better level to which both of you can connect and relate.
Don't think this only applies to Religion, this was merely an example. This is true for all bearings in life. Your bad experience with 'x' company might leave a lasting impression in your head, but maybe it was just an accident or fluke? You believe the war in 'balugistan' is, or maybe is not, justified. Start reading on the history of the war, the countries involved. Listen to those who support/oppose the wars and consider what is being said. Also consider where your information is coming from. What biases will there be here? Are they trying to make a certain point?
And now I want to finish with a nice cheap book for some interesting reading. If I continue to do blogs I will try to suggest one everytime I do so. I'll try to make this one relevant so I'll suggest what I suggested to Yagami - "You Are Not So Smart", a book based on psychological studies of many, many misconceptions we have about eachother and ourselves. It's an eye opener and might help you on the path to being able to question yourself. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-are-not-so-smart-david-mcraney/1100483675?ean=9781101545355&itm=1&usri=you%2bare%2bnot%2bso%2bsmart
Since this is my first blog post I'd like to say hello to everyone that may read this. Firstly, thanks for taking the time to listen to my opinions. I'm never going to claim to be an expert in anything and I always love fresh ideas from you. So if you ever want to have a fun discussion, feel free to message me. As far as forum posts are concerned I try to make an effort to make engaging questions about gaming to ponder on. My first topic was about how understanding game mechanics and how it could ruin your immersion. If you ever get annoyed with my stupid ramblings please let me know!
Post if you wanted to participate: http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion/30/does-understanding-mechanics-of-games-decay-immersion-for-you/528856/
It's been ages since I've written anything so I hope I get my blog-writin' skills up to par. Flaws I already know about - too many fucking comma's, I use "I" too much and it's really bothersome (it makes me sound self-absorbed), I tend to repeat words a lot after using them once it gets stuck in my head and not realize I reused them, and my grammar could be better.