Baby, it’s cold outside.

Winter has made its presence felt and a number of places here in the UK have seen their first flurries of snow.

And, sure enough, it’s cold outside.

But it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I noticed the change to the lyrics in Kylie Minogue’s version of the song.

The line ”Say what’s in this drink?” sung by the female half of the duet was changed to ”Say was that a wink?”

There may be other changes but that was the one I noticed.

Doing a search reveals a lot of criticism about the song being predatory with the male protagonist doing everything he can, including plying the woman with unknown drinks that may have been spiked, in order to keep her there.

The allusions to date rape are most frequently among its criticisms and, in our 21st century world with accusations of inappropriate behaviour all over the media, it’s easy to see why.

That’s why this piece, written by a woman and arguing the exact opposite, is particularly interesting.

The author refutes these interpretations by examining the context of the song and taking the lyric as a whole rather than as a collection of separate lines which can be construed independently.

I’ll let you make up your own mind but it’s a useful reminder that there are different sides to every story, different interpretations that can be made, and a warning against getting caught up in our own biases.

(See also the response to this and the piece here.)

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Confirmation bias

I try to follow people that challenge me, that have different opinions to my own and different world views but there is only so far we, as individuals, tend to go when left to our own devices.

We like it when people agree with us; we get a warm cosy feeling when our ideas are validated and fee attacked when someone disagrees - that is what Facebook relies on.

Facebook is heavily lambasted for the way the news feed places us firmly in a filter bubble but it is a clever ploy to keep us within its walls, to avoid the confrontation that might drive us away.

But my Twitter feed has been the ultimate example of confirmation bias and, despite my attempts to the contrary, I only have myself to blame.

I don't follow that many people but don't think anyone in feed was openly a Trump supporter during the presidential campaign. I thought there was no way Trump would win because I wasn't exposed to the massive ground swell of opinion outside of my social circles.

That's not down to an algorithm, that's purely down to me and the choices I have made.

I'm not sure which is scarier.

Confirmation bias