So I just finished reading this book, Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s essentially about snap judgments and how sometimes making a decision with LESS information is actually better. Overthinking is sometimes a hindrance. There are many examples of studies and experiments in the book and it is truly fascinating.

At the end, the author talks about the concept of truly blind justice. We like to believe justice is blind, but in reality it is NOT. It is, in fact, quite influenced by what we see and the more information we have and he cites studies that back it up. He goes on to talk about the racism in our current justice system and accurately says that we believe educating people more about racism (or any prejudice) is our answer, but that that is more of a long term solution to something in which 1. needs a speedier fix and 2. may not really be that effective.

He hypothesizes a system that could still allow the accused to face their accuser (perhaps virtually?), but in which the jury of his/her peers is blind to the accused’s “condemning” characteristics as much as possible. Their race, gender, age, etc. The jury has LESS information about the accused and therefore, focuses more on the actual accusation, and less on the individual.

Apparently, orchestras and symphonies used to be comprised of mostly men; very, very few women, even if the women auditioning played better. Someone finally decided this was wholly unfair and started requiring blind auditions. The maestros and other judges would never actually see the person playing the music, they would not be given any information about the person, they judged solely on the performance. And suddenly, orchestras quickly became almost 50/50 men and women.

We say there is no “quick fix” to so many issues but perhaps there is. I think the problem is that we are always wanting a perfect quick fix, it must be all or nothing, and when we decide that’s impossible we dismiss the ideas entirely. We throw our hands up, and sigh, “I guess it’s gotten out of hand, there is no hope.”

We, as a society, are so accustomed to over analyzing and inspecting and demanding thoroughness, sometimes rightly, but also sometimes to our own detriment. We’re missing something by always ignoring or doubting our integral instincts.

No, we don’t have the perfect answer, the one that will please everybody. Let’s say that the perfect solution IS out there, we just have to figure it out. The question then becomes do we even have the time to wait for that?

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