Friday, December 04, 2009

Being right means being ignored

Being right means being ignored

One thing I have experienced many times in my life is knowing something with absolute certainty while others fumble about in confusion, without being aware of, or admitting, their confusion.

One manifestation of this occurs when I am out and about with other people and I see an animal track; especially of an odd species or in a somewhat unexpected spot. In most cases the species of animal that left the track is as clear to me as it would be were a label attached to it. However, if I don't know what left the track I am not afraid to admit it. Even if I don't know what species did leave the track, I can usually know for certain the species that did not leave it.

If the other people with me have no knowledge of tracks at all, and have no outdoorsman egos to protect, they will usually accept my assessment. If they imagine themselves knowledgeable, however, they frequently ignore my conclusion as their theories become more outlandish and their justifications become more unhinged from reality. Sometimes I will silently listen to the bizarre guesses of other people around me, as they try to assign the track to some species that does not leave similarly shaped tracks, is of a vastly different size, and lives only on the other side of the planet from the track in question.

If, at this point, I again speak up and tell these observers what species the track belongs to, my input is almost invariably ignored completely. It is as if I never said a word. It doesn't change the nature of reality, though. So, I just sit back and watch the show, trying to learn from this lesson.

The same has occurred with regards to wild plants as well. I don't eat wild things harvested by others, without checking it carefully first, for this very reason. I can't understand why people have such a hard time seeing what to me adds up to obvious differences, but then I am the same way with cars; to me a car is a car, unless I manage to read the label. Wisdom comes from knowing who to listen to on each individual subject.

So it is with freedom. Most of the "big issues" have government's tracks all over them. I, and many others, point this out time and again only to have the majority continue to chase obviously false leads. Our observations are unwelcome and unfamiliar, and lead to "scary" conclusions, so they are ignored. Those who think they know some of how "politics" or "society" function are the worst about acting like this. They will continue to argue over which is the best way to control others and make them do "the right thing" while the correct answers (all involving respecting the freedom and rights of the individual) are offered on a silver platter right under their little statist noses.

Well, you can lead a statist to information, but you can't make him think.