I had a few careers where I played with the big boys. These specialists had either talent (baseball) or skill (emergency medicine) or expertise (neuropsychology). To interact with these people gave me so much. For the most part these individuals learned as much from me as I did from them. At the time I did not realize this. The point is they really knew something.
Then a series of bad life events led me to Cuenca Ecuador. Here everybody knows everything. There is not a single question you can drum up that does not have an answer on an expat forum. They might not know the closest star to earth but they can tell you how the planets influence your personality and for an additional 10 dollars they can predict your children’s future.
I should be happy living among so much knowledge, but sadly I am not. I hear cancer cures, benefits from shamans, hatred for both political parties, love/hate for the president of Ecuador and this information proves beneficial to me. I listen. I get on the internet and go to sites of studied knowledge. I look up what I heard and voila I have solid information. But outside the peer reviewed information I show extreme caution as someone is usually selling something — an idea or a product that is heavily conflicted with what the science says. Quite often it is contrary to the local experts and there lies my benefit. A story is born. As an example I have a dear friend who rants and raves how untrustworthy the government is. He just posted an article that says the U.S. government finally admits that marijuana kills cancer cells. Forget the issue of marijuana. What about trusting the government? Now I should trust them because they agree with you? I’m confused.
Why would a person say something that has a grain of truth but expand it into an absolute and be offended if you looked for information to support their claim. You will not like my opinion because we all tend to do it. (future blog)
I learned that the terms racist and misogynist to mean anyone who disagrees with a statement by the speaker. I think this has long been an issue to man but the internet and social media illuminate this human desire to have THE ANSWER.
I recently read an article about alternative medicine. I liked the energy of the article and commented on it. The response I received from the author missed my point and defended THE ANSWER. I was looking to have an interchange of ideas, of intellectual debate, of a search for information Instead I got THE ANSWER I remember leaving my post doctorate with THE ANSWER. I laugh when I think back to how stupid that feeling was. I say feeling because the feeling of being right has the same feel as being wrong.