Sunday, February 22, 2009

Give Me Facts

Having a front row on history, as is my experience, means paying close attention to facts. I want facts, not just the screwing around that people do with opinions. Those who simply have opinions want us to think there's no objective truth, that it's all just as screwed up as they are.

My own stand is this: I believe in facts. I remain convinced by facts. I want something solid to hang my hat on, something definite and objective by which to draw conclusions and come to judgments. I warrant ye this much, that opinions don't cut it. But facts.

Looking from the front row, I see it all, the good and the bad. I go to various websites -- it's all part of my unique experience on the internet -- and I see both, facts and opinions. I have what it takes to differentiate the two. But to parse it out and explain it in the prolonged treatment that the subject demands is to bore everyone stiff. I would lose half my readership if I felt compelled to explain everything clinically, with scholarly points, footnotes, and what have you. Not that I couldn't do it!

Some things deserve that kind of treatment. Matters of life and death, say. Some things don't. Such as what should be clear to any clear, reasonable person. The simple fact of the matter -- not just my opinion -- is: If you're not clear and reasonable enough to understand common sense, then you're not likely to be clear and reasonable enough to understand it better after an overblown scholarly examination. In other words, the intelligence the latter demands is the same intelligence that could have understood the former.

My front row seat on history -- I need to keep reminding myself -- is mine alone. So I don't truly know the full extent of anyone else's powers. Perhaps I am truly alone. Is this all just my own world? It very well could be.

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