Jonathan Govias '10 has written a measured response to the recent anxiety in the El Sistema-inspired field caused by the upcoming release of Geoffrey Baker's research into El Sistema in Venezuela. Here is an excerpt:
"Humans have a tendency to embrace information that reinforces previously determined viewpoints. This is called confirmation bias and it is a mental defense against the cognitive dissonance that ensues every time we’re confronted with any evidence that might suggest our cherished beliefs are wrong. This afflicts both researchers and readers. Researchers tend to gravitate to and privilege perspectives that affirm their hypotheses, just as readers are inclined to reject ideas that make them uncomfortable. In the case of the international Sistema community and Geoff, this may manifest as the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object."
Read Jonathan's essay in its entirety here.