Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brick Wall, Meet Forehead 27 / 30

Alright, lets start with the basic proposition that I am an asshole.  I have accepted that, and in fact, embrace it a bit.  From that proposition, lets expand it to also include I am arrogant and automatically assume that I know more about any given topic than the individuals I am discussing said topic with.  (Wow, what a bad sentence, but it captures it nicely.)  Again, no disagreement there.  One further expansion - I am a pretty intelligent guy who actually tries to research his facts prior to defending them and when confronted with evidence to prove, or even suggest that I am wrong, will step back and occasionally admit my error.

I got my knickers in a knot a while back when I discussed how fricking annoying it is when people don’t take the thirty seconds to educate themselves on an issue prior to putting their opinion forward as fact.  That’s fucking annoying.  There, I said it.  I used the words asshole and fucking in the same post.  That ought to say something about the level of frustration that sheer idiocy is causing me.  It has happened three times today alone and twice yesterday.  The last one today was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It isn’t a localized phenomenon, and it impacts every aspect of our lives.  People are wrong all the time.  And that is OK.  I tell people all the time that fear of being wrong will really limit their ability to achieve anything of consequence.  You think Einstein got E=MC2 the first time out?  Doubt it.  There’s a great ad out there, though ad is probably not the right word… aha!  Its right here:

Love that.  And so true.  You have to fail to succeed.  No one gets everything right the first time.  Hell, most of us fail miserably for a really long time before we finally achieve anything even remotely resembling competence.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here.  Being willing to fail in order to get better at something – a willingness to take risks, is not the same thing as being knowingly wrong and still trying to defend that proposition.

And something about the internet seems to bring that out in people.  Perhaps worse, it brings out people like me who will bash our heads against the monitor to try to explain to these people that a) they are wrong, and b) they should learn from the experience.  But of course, we all know how futile that can be.

I stand by the things I write, and am willing to be challenged on them.  Prove me wrong, and I’ll say thank you.  It might take you a while to get me there, and I’ll fight you like hell, but I’ll still say thank you.

But for the love of all that is decent, check your facts before trying to convince others that you are right.  Because when you aren’t, you just look bad.  And no one wants that.

P.S.  Just realized that the comic didn't have a signature.  Its from and reproduced under the Creative Commons License agreement on their webpage.

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