Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours
sabotlours

Experts

This topic has been in my head for quite a while, and with all of the election stuff that has just happened, it's a good time to ramble on the subject. While I consider myself an intelligent bear, I don't do a heck of a lot of reading. I used to read the paper every day cover to cover, but I slowly started to lose interest and unread papers started to stack up. I don't think I could just pick up a work of non-fiction and read it from cover to cover. I watch various news programs on t.v. and listen to NPR while traveling to and from work. I have been wondering as of late if that is enough. Should I be more well-read? Am I making informed decisions about a whole variety of topics? And then again, do I need to be or should I just make decisions based on my own personal feelings?

I know many people like to spout off all of the books they have read on a particular subject. Are they just inflating their own egos in doing so? I know that many people that do that usually come across as pathetic losers so it makes sense that they have a lot of time to read books since they have no social life. And then there is the subject of the quality of reference material being sited. That's where the subject of today's post comes from. Are we to believe the so-called experts?

I saw a few posts supporting George W. with links to commentary by Rush Limbaugh. Why should I believe the writings of a right-wing drug addict? Do you honestly think that he is telling you the unbiased truth? I would feel the same way if someone pointed me to writings by Michael Moore. Are people blindly following words and advice of people with definite agendas? If I want to get the truth behind the war in Iraq do I have to read a dozen books by various authors to get down to that kernel of truth?

Maybe it's enough for me to realize that everyone has a bias and that everything people say needs to be scrutinized and taken with many grains of salt. I wrote earlier that a flaw of mine was to accept the word of someone who is in a position of authority since they must know what they are talking about in order to have obtained that position. Right? Well, no. I have found many clueless people in high places. I think we also tend to put more weight behind the words of people with advanced degrees. If someone has a PhD, they must be really smart, right? Well, several months ago I heard an interview with a university professor who claimed that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the CIA and that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane, but rather a missile launched by the CIA. Most people would say "WTF?!?" but here he was standing by all of his "research."

There is something a little closer to home which also reflects the subject about being an "expert." I have a friend who is an archaeologist. She has worked as one for her entire career and specialized in Southwest cultures. She was examining the petroglyphs in back of my house and was intrigued by them. I mentioned that the local tribes considered them "sacred." She just laughed. She told me that the scared sites are usually not marked by things such as petroglyphs. They were merely scribblings done by the ancient dwellers. The city is about to build a road through a small section of the petroglyphs. The local tribes are all upset that their "sacred sites" will be desecrated. So now who am I to believe? The Indians who are ancestors of the ones who carved the petroglyphs, or an archaeologist who says they are not sacred? I would have to side with my friend on this one. Why? Because while I am biased towards believing a friend, I also know that she has nothing to gain by telling me they are not sacred. Having worked for years with the local pueblos, I know that they definitely have items on their agenda to gain them as much power as they possibly can grab. So by holding up a major project, they are flexing their muscle. The story takes on an interesting twist when it was later brought up that the tribes had agreed to the highway years ago in exchange for the creation of the park which would protect vast areas that also contained petroglyphs.

I guess I will just try to get my news from as many different sources as I can. Hopefully the bullshit will float away and I will be able to get to the truth that lives inside.
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