McCain and Obama were at the Alfred E. Smith fundraiser last night and each took some good-natured shots at each other and them selves.  It’s nice to get some humor in this tough election and especially good to see that these guys really are human beings and are capable of laughing at themselves.

Of course, the intertube is filled today with people saying how ‘their guy’ was funnier than the other.  Can’t we just let up on the bashing for a few minutes and enjoy the fact that these guys are real people too?

Neurologist Robert Burton just released a book entitled On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not which promotes a neurological reason behind our stubbornness.  I haven’t read it but it sounds like a very interesting subject.  He discusses it in an interview at SciAm.com.

The interview discusses a bit of his take on why it happens and examples, specifically the bias towards political candidates.

Are you a rabid supporter of a candidate and believe everything he/she says?  Do you have a ‘gut feeling’ that one is telling the truth or a suspicion that one is lying?  Dr. Burton would say that those feelings are neurological and have evolved as part of the brain’s reward system and it’s ability to avoid ambiguity.  He hopes that by explaining how the brain works to people, it will help them to understand why feelings of certainty exist and how to look beyond them to the facts.

Personally, I think that most people don’t so much care about why they think the way they do.  Most aren’t in the least bit curious why they think ‘everyone else is wrong’.  In my opinion, most would reject these ideas just as they do any others that do not support their assumptions, beliefs, faith, politics, and other ideologies.  Am I certain about this?  I suppose that I am.

This political season has been  the most interesting one that I can really remember.  I have followed the primary season, conventions, and run up to the election closer than ever before.  I’ve tried not to get too caught up in the politics, irrational exuberance, or outright disdain that the media and public at large have displayed.  Rather, I have sat and watched, read, and listened to what people and the press have to say.  It’s been more of an exercise into understanding human nature.

Tonight is the much anticipated VP debate.  I admit that I have my opinions about the candidates and know who I’ll vote for but I also know that my vote will truly not count.  But that is another subject…

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Here is the States, we are in the finals weeks of a long election cycle.  This is a critical time for candidates and their campaigns, as evidenced by the deluge of ads on television.  Even though I live in what is basically an uncontested state in the northeast, the ads seem more pervasive every week.  I can’t imagine what it’s like in key ‘battleground states’ like Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Florida.

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