One day a scientist saw a new product advertised. He was interested in this product not only because he thought it was something he might quite like to own, but also because it nudged onto the edge of his own area of scientific interest. This was a brand new device that scented the home with whatever fragrance required by creating a synthesis of scent within the machine from simple chemicals. This was much safer than the older style of air freshener because it used less harmful chemicals and was absolutely safe even around pet birds and fish.
He finds the best deal he can get on one of these, because as you can imagine it isn’t a cheap thing. Finally it appears in the post and he rips into the packaging, and sets the machine up. He plugs it in and presses some buttons and the most god awful stench fills the house. This is the worst smell you’ve ever smelled and it makes him violently ill. Finally managing to unplug the machine he begins a campaign to eliminate this dangerous product from the planet, he does tests that ‘prove’ that there are dangerous chemicals present. No one who knows him dare even speak the name of the product.
A few years later he attends a party in the home of a new friend. He walks in and smells the most heavenly scent. It seems to dance on his senses, it is the essence of delight distilled and reproduced.
“What is that lovely smell?” he asks his host.
“Oh that’s the Scent-o-matic, lovely isn’t it?”
On hearing the name of the product the scientist once again became violently ill and ran from the house screaming that he’d be contacting his lawyers.
In order to make a balanced judgement on a subject it is first necessary to understand all aspects of the subject. Confirmation bias is real. Oh yes, and always read the instructions. Here endeth today’s lesson.