Monday, July 18, 2011

Where are the facts?


For a long time now I have been asking myself "just what are the facts here?".

For nearly as long I've found that there usually aren't any and it is most likely that there is no such thing at all.

Today I was prompted by the term "peak oil".

My understanding of this term is that it relates to the "fact" that soon, or already depending on who you ask, humans will reach their peak oil consumption and thereafter the supply will start drying up. We won't be able to consume it so fast any more.

Well, this sounds familiar. I remember hearing the same thing when I was a kid 30 odd years ago.

Back then the oil was going to run out altogether before the turn of the century. Somehow we found more.

This isn't about justifying the continued use of oil, it is about how often humans get things wrong. Things we all too readily label as facts.

Another example which pisses me off is "Time Team" the TV show.

Time Team dig up some ground, find a bit of crockery, a coin or a dog's bone and before you know it they've sketched out an entire village, the plans for the houses, the jobs of the residents and how they lived.

It seems a long bow to draw most of the time. Often they cite precedent in that a similar village found somewhere else had similar stuff in it despite how little "evidence" they are actually holding.

I've often wondered if the referenced villages were created in the same fanciful way. I am sure a proportion are, so where does that leave the Time Team village? Completely in la-la land if you ask me.

Still more scientists are peering into the cosmos. Further and further with even more powerful telescopes across all sorts of visible and invisible spectrums.

The conclusions they arrive at amaze me. They are fantastic. Yet we still really only know BUGGER ALL about our nearest neighbour. We've not brought any samples back let alone visited the place and had a good look around.

Yet cosmologists are happy to declare alien life impossible or inevitable with equal certainty. They can discern so much from a shift in colour and a the slight wobble in an observation.

They can say what they like. We'll never get there to prove them wrong.

Scratching the surface...asking questions seems to quickly uncover no verifiable source, valid background, actual precedent, impenetrable logic, proper investigation...

So just what are the facts?

The only fact I can tell you is that I pretty much never take anything I see, read or hear at face value.

Chances are if it came from a human it is bullshit.

News = bullshit
Statistics = Bullshit
Studies = Bullshit
Someone said = bullshit
Survey = Bullshit
Did you hear = bullshit
Science = Bullshit
Web site = bullshit
The Church / Religion = Bullshit
Movie = bullshit
Documentary = bullshit
Politician = bullshit^100
TV = bullshit
Michael Moore = Bullshit
Greenpeace = Bullshit
Climate Change = Bullshit
Global Warming = Bullshit
Not Global Warming = Bullshit
President = Bullshit
Government = Bullshit
You = Bullshit
Me = Bullshit
Everyone else = Bullshit

So what are we all worried about?
Bullshit, that's what :-)

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David