by Greg Krehbiel on 13 February 2017
One of the things you learn very quickly in Geology is that when you’re taking a multiple choice test, the answers that say “always” or “never” can usually be ignored. Things are too weird and chaotic and complicated for that.
I’ve taken the same general attitude into most of the rest of my life, so when somebody says “always,” I assume they probably don’t know what they’re talking about. Unless it’s math, or logic, or something where such words actually apply.
A contemporary application is when somebody in the media says that something is “unprecedented.” They’re almost always wrong.
Along those lines …
It’s tough to digest the outrage from reporters or politicians who claim something “never happened before in our history” when such statements lack any hint of historical perspective, any intellectual curiosity to discover if something truly is unprecedented.
We see the same thing from climate fear mongers. E.g., “the rate of warming is unprecedented.” That’s just ignorance with an agenda.
People regularly make outrageous claims without checking their facts.
2017-02-13 » Greg Krehbiel