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June 30th. Confirmation Bias.

Let us go to the Park,  I say. The Pond is calling, I say.

I do not think it is, says the Owner. Ponds do not Call.

You are interpreting me too Literally, I say. It is the Echo of the Morning’s Happy Hours in the Pond that are Calling me.

This Morning’s Hours, says the Owner, in a kind of Dully Meaningful tone, were not Entirely Happy.

Do you not remember the Happy Hours? I ask. Is your life not One Long Rollercoaster Ride of Joy with your Moral Dog? I ask. That is how I remember it, I say. As a Faithful and Truthful Moral Dog, I say. Who lives for his Owner, I say. And the Pond, I say. Do you not remember the Happy Moments in the Pond? I say.

I do remember them, says the Owner. They were Tragically Brief.

I am so glad you feel that way, I say. I hope you can use the Memory of them to Alleviate your current Rather Miserable Expression, I say. Or is your face Sagging with the Weight of Years? I say. I would not wish to be insensitive, I say. Most of the time I Barely Notice, I say. Let us Enhance your Wrinkles with Further Joy such as we Both Remember in the Pond, I say.

The Moral Dog is displaying Confirmation Bias, says the Owner. Confirmation bias causes people to search for, favour, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms their preexisting beliefs and ignores information that contradicts them, says the Owner. It applies particularly to Ponds, says the Owner.

What is wrong with that? I say. It appears Entirely Satisfactory, I say.

Confirmation bias promotes problematic patterns of thinking and problematic patterns of behaviour, says the Owner. Do you remember the Small Human in the Dinosaur Coat?

The One that was in the Pond? I ask. Of course I remember, I say. We had a glorious time, I say. There was a Great Deal of Splashing and Fun, I say. The Excitement of the Large  Human upon discovering us there was almost Tangible, I say. She waded in so fast to join us that I am surprised she did not just Jump, I say.

Did she not call you a Naughty Naughty Dog? Asks the Owner. 

I seem to recall that Two Naughties make a Good, I say.

Do you remember the Other Large Humans waving their Arms and Shouting? Asks the Owner.

I do have a vague mental image of a Number of Large Lost Football Supporters passing the Pond, I say. They were waving their Arms, I say. And shouting, I say. Probably about Arsenal, I say. But other than that, I say, I remember only good things, I say. 

There were no lost Football supporters in the Park, says the Owner, since Arsenal were not Playing at Home.

If Arsenal were not Home that may explain why they were lost, I say.

Do you remember being pursued around the Pond by your Enraged and Dripping Owner whilst the Small Human was carried to safety? Asks the Owner.

I do have a vague mental image of you looking somewhat Wild Eyed, I say, but I assume it was Excitement at Joining Us in the Pond, I say. Weed is a Good Look on you, I say. Especially when you have Forgotten to Brush your Hair, I say. 

I had Brushed my hair, says the Owner. 

Imagine how Dreadful it would have looked Unbrushed, I say.  No Wonder you were so happy in the Pond, I say. Knowing that you Looked your Best, I say.

I was not Happy in the Pond, says the Owner, I was pursuing  a Slippery Eel, says the Owner.

I do not remember noticing  that, I say. You were Mostly Chasing the Moral Dog, I say. With a Wild Abandon that Almost Concealed your Years, I say.

You are displaying Confirmation Bias, says the Owner. You have made a Biased search for remembered information to confirms What you Want to Remember, you have interpreted information in a way that confirms What you Want to Remember, and you have either forgotten information that contradicts it, or simply reformatted it in your memory to support What you Want to Remember, distorting it in order to maintain or even strengthen your Chosen Memory. In the Process you have Put Criticism into the Trashbin of Lost Experience, reaffirmed your Own Moral Views about Humans and Ponds and generally created a Glorious image of Dog-in-Pondness which incorporates, explains and dismisses all Accounts to the Contrary and Turns our Abject Session of Apology and Recrimination into Memories of Unfettered Joy.

Wow, I say. That sound amazing, I say. the Moral Dog is clearly more Gifted than he had Ever Thought, I say. Can this Confirmation Bias be taught? I ask. Perhaps I could give you lessons, I say. It would do you good, I say. It might also help with the Face, I say. Maybe you could do an A Level, I say.

We are not going to the Pond, says the Owner.

I do not see why not, I say. Even Dreyfus knew what he was accused of, I say.

Argh, says the Owner.

The Moral Dog has no idea what he has done this time. 






Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

1 reply

  1. Somehow, I think this conversation is entirely accurate. I think dogs mostly remember things this way and understand weird human behavior like this, too! That’s kind of charming don’t you think? Maybe it’s not entirely bad. It makes for less bitterness, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

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