Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Disbelieving authorities

I'm a physicist (albeit working in IT these days) and I keep up with a pretty broad range of science doings. So when my vocation comes up in conversations, people will often mention some new discovery they read about in the news and ask for my opinion.

If I can, I oblige, but as I've mentioned before the news reports are often extremely misleading and there's a lot of science fiction mixed with science fact in popular ideas.

When I contradict the narrative, it seems as though about 2/3 of the time people thank me for clarifying the matter, and about 1/3 of the time they disbelieve me.

I'm not sure how this 1/3 breaks down: how much is a healthy disrespect for credentialism, how much is "I trust whoever I heard first," and how much is "You're harshing my mellow."

I need to keep some notes.

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