Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pick and choose...

This just might ruin your day/week/month/year, news from the "Bought and paid for " file, and some needful situational awareness...

We live in strange times.

Some time back I pointed out to a well-known sailing/cruising blogger that their current post, which contained a quote attributed to Mark Twain, that Mark Twain had, in fact never said or written the quote in question.

I was some kind of surprised when they wrote back to tell me that they'd looked into it and since more people thought it was a Twain quote than people who did not that it was proof positive that Twain had actually said it. This response confused, bothered, and depressed me because it showed a certain lack of critical fact-based thinking and, as I'd put a lot of store in their writing where boats were concerned, it planted a seed of mistrust that shadowed everything I read of theirs from that point on.

Worse, it actually got me thinking about how, somewhere along the line, our society has opted for a non-confrontational mindset where facts are concerned and pointing out that someone might be incorrect was now a faux pas. Best summed up by something from the White House not all that long ago about how people were entitled to their alternative facts.

Now, I'm all for people having alternative opinions and, I expect, that a whole lot of people have differing opinions than I do and that's not a bad thing. Facts, on the other hand, are a whole different thing.

For instance, I use Raka epoxy which uses a 2 to 1 mix ratio. So, if someone asks me what the mix ratio is I can state that it is 2 to 1 which is not my opinion but a simple fact. Maybe if someone asked me which is the best epoxy that would fall into the opinion zone and for the record having used a lot of different epoxies over the last few decades my opinion is they are all mostly about the same as long as you follow the directions.

The idea of alternative facts where boat building, cruising, and other matters of life or death tend to frighten me. Facts are something you don't get to pick and choose. Facts are just what they are and all you need to do is find out what they are. The downside of this is that there are now so many alternative facts floating around where boat stuff is concerned that you pretty much have to do your own research and put it through the critical thinking wringer to make sure you have the real thing.

Just saying.

Listening to Los Lobos on Live From Here

So it goes...