One thing that has been really bugging me recently is how to work out what to think about things.
Black and white
At school, teachers knew everything, although now that I have friends and relatives who are teachers, I am starting to doubt that a little bit :-). I remember the year Blue Peter really went for broke on Green Issues (1989? I will have to look it up when I am less than 200 miles away from my old Blue Peter annuals) and suddenly we all knew that CFCs were bad.
Shades of Grey
At University we discover that a lot of what we have been told before is actually wrong – the Pratchett/Stewart/Cohen lies-to-children concept from Science of Discworld. Journals are introduced as the source of all wisdom. All very well. Most questions can be dismissed with a ‘not my subject’ remark. Specialisation is all and once you are specialised enough you can keep saying it is complicated and that people are asking the wrong questions.
A big murky fog
But then real life comes along. Although I can get away with saying ‘I’m not sure’, I want to be able to say that I have opinions. Yes, this is what I think and why I think it. I may be wrong, but my reasoned conclusion is: blah.
I guess I’m thinking most about things that come up on the news: wars, politics, ethics, environmental stuff.
But where to look for input (a la Jonny 5)? There isn’t time to read everything. Who can you trust? As far as I can gather, pretty much no-one. Everyone is biased.
A quick question, just out of interest. Who do you trust to tell you the truth?
Lunchtime over – more on this another time, perhaps even with some specifics.