August 22, 2009

Say it ain't so Joe!


<((You don’t say))>

Yesterday’s Talk of the nation: Science Friday was about the conceptions folk’s have about food and the best possible scenarios for its distribution. People, me included, have a tendency to be dramatic. They often make big choices based on limited information that they deem important because of the source. In fact it seems that as the amount of knowable facts increase at a dazzling rate, finding a trusted source to fill in the gaps in our knowledge is as important as finding a good doctor or mechanic or, dare I say, carpenter.

The guests on Science Friday and the host Ira Flatow were discussing the distribution of food and the carbon footprint of various methods of food production. I like Mister Flatow because in his roundtable discussion’s he always tries to bring the conversation around to a reasonable conclusion based on all of the participants viewpoints. The conclusion yesterday was that buying locally produced food does not always yield the smallest carbon footprint. Now, for the why’s and wherefores I’ll refer you to the program but the thought I am pursuing here is more about how we reach our conclusions than what we conclude.

<((Give the people what they want))>

The quickening is a concept I have been hearing about for years. The quickening is manmade and involves every facet of human knowledge. Basically, the idea is that things are getting faster because we continue to find ways to do more things. (I can do more, I do more and things happen faster.) Another concept I have been hearing about for some time is the individual’s fast growing ability to get through the day without encountering a thought or idea that they do not at least partially agree with. Blogs and websites and targeted media of all types are being produced at ever greater speed. Many of them exist to turn a profit and have discerned that preaching to the already converted is a surefire method of doing so. 

There is simply more information in the world, which means there is more erroneous information and that means there is a better chance that any one of us might be infected with facts which just aren’t true and then, we too, can turn around and infect others…

<((The theory of relativity))>

Are facts and the truth the same thing or are facts something we can prove while the truth is something we have taken on good faith? It really does not matter because both the truth and the facts of the matter are informing our beliefs. I guess the truth and facts combine to produce perception and perception is relative so knowing thyself really can only happen if we admit that there are things that are unknowable. By that I mean it just is not possible to know everything. So, some of what we know we simply believe and those beliefs are only as trustworthy as the source they rode in on.


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