A few words of advice for people barging into established blogs, ready to lay down some contrarian opinions:
Heed Pablo's First Law of Internet Discussion
Really. Truly. It will save you much personal embarassment.
What is Pablo's First Law?
Regardless of the topic, assume someone else commenting
knows more about it than you do.
The Law itself was preceded by a few words from PZ:
- As this is a science blog, a greater proportion of the readers and commenters here well- educated, and, if not scientists, are reasonably well-versed in logic, observation, empiricism, debate, and rationality. As such, their responses will likely be pointed, eloquent, articulate, and highly opinionated.
- Any comments you make will be judged, and often judged harshly for grammar, intellectual consistency, knowledge of the subject addressed, and openness of tone. Get used it; this is the deep end, not a wading pool.
Pablo had a preface to his law:
- This place is for discussion, and, as such, your opinion is welcome. However, other people's opinions are also welcome, including their opinion that your opinion is silly or wrong.
And there is another thing to remember:
You are entitled to your own opinion,
but you are not entitled to your own facts.
Or more pointedly, the 1950 Bernard Baruch version:
Every man has a right to his own opinion,
but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
If you remember that, you may save yourself from the foolish flaw that is the arrogance of ignorance.