Once I said to my ex-wife that I was hardly ever wrong. She immediately argued that it was arrogant to think that I was always right.
“I never said that,” I replied.
“Yes, you did, you just said it a moment ago!”
“No, I said that I was rarely wrong. There’s a big difference between saying that and asserting that one is always right.”
“I still think you’re being arrogant,” she replied.
Which was possibly true, but not how the discussion started.
I’ve been reminded of my ex-wife quite a bit lately when writing these blogs. Several months ago the comments from readers tended to fall into distinct categories. There were the totally positive, the basically positive who just wanted to point out one or two things and the “I’m a troll, so I’m just going to try and make you angry by calling you names and putting forward such bad arguments that you suddenly understand how Abbott got elected”. But lately I’ve encountered a new type of person commenting. And these are the ones who remind me of discussions with my ex-wife.
Now, I don’t want to sound like I think that I was perfect and that there were never occasions when I was in the wrong. It’s just that I can think of any. My ex-wife would often argue over the most trivial things, but accuse me of having an obsession with being right, if I ever found a way of proving it.
“That direction is West.”
“No, it’s North.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s West.”
“You just can’t admit that you’re wrong, can you?”
“But I’m sure that I’ve seen the sun set over there.”
“Look, it’s North. Just accept it.”
When I got the map out and showed her that it was, in fact, West, well, why on earth was I using facts about something that really didn’t matter. Couldn’t I just let it go? Strangely, when I pointed out that she was the one who kept asserting that it was North, it didn’t actually help the situation. I don’t understand people sometimes.
It was discussing a blog on climate change with Tom Harris the other day that I first noticed the conversation slipping around like an argument with my ex-wife.
That’s not the issue, this is the issue.
Well, if this is the issue, then here’s the evidence.
That’s not evidence, and anyway you still haven’t addressed my original point.
You said that wasn’t the issue.
It’s all about the fact that there is no agreement.
No, it’s about scientific evidence.
But people keep asserting that there are a majority of climate scienists who agree on climate change. Where’s your evidence for that?
Chack out NASA here.
NASA doesn’t count, it’s a government body and funded by them.
But didn’t you say the issue of where your organisation received funding was irrelevant.
You should be discussing the science, not funding.
Ok, let’s discuss the science then.
You can’t prove you’re right!
You can’t prove I’m wrong.
You need to prove you’re right.
Why? You still haven’t told me which part of the scientific hypothesis on climate change you disagree with.
That’s all I have time for now. Bye Bye.
Yep, I’ve found out all sorts of interesting things from the people who comment. Some have told me that I shouldn’t have written on the topic I’ve written on because they didn’t want to read about it. (I usually think that the title and the tags are a give-away with that one.) But I’ve also had people provide me with a link to “evidence” that turns out to be their own blog somewhere else. And just yesterday, I discovered that the GFC was caused by poor people – amazing.
So, in the future, I’ve decided to attempt to resist the temptation to reply to comments. In the end, I know that it’ll just be like arguing with my ex-wife: She’ll know that she’s right, and if I do find somthing that contradicts her, it’ll just be petty or irrelevant or questionable or…
No, I need to just sit back content in the knowledge that I’m rarely wrong! And, on the few occasions that I am, it’s even rarer to get me to admit it.