This entry is likely to be boring, so you can stop now. It concerns what I think of as a creeping idiocy I do not wish on anyone ... and yet many if not most people will find it acceptable because, roughly speaking, they are lazy and want to snuggle up with others. I do not wish this kind of idiocy on my children.
Here's what caught my eye after reading a posting that took Wikipedia to task for its editing policies:
Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in reliable, published sources are covered; see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. The word "source" as used on Wikipedia has three related meanings: the piece of work itself (the article, paper, document, book), the creator of the work (for example, the writer), and the publisher of the work (for example, The New York Times or Cambridge University Press). All three can affect reliability. Reliable sources may therefore be published materials with a reliable publication process; they may be authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject in question; or they may be both.
No one can research everything thoroughly, but when it comes to things that are attractive or compelling in anyone's life, it behooves us one and all to consider: 1. all published works rely on someone else: there is a break between the actual truth and what is written. 2. Reliability is not based on how much I agree with you or you with me -- it is based on actual research that will bring the researcher as close as possible to the facts on the ground. 3. "Reliable published sources" must be questioned when it comes to what is compelling or beloved. The alternative is to open the door to a fabrication that goes on and on because no one takes the time to find out. This is cozy, but it is lazy. Just because there is an authority positing a particular position does not make the position authoritative. Just because the New York Times publishes something does not make it so.
As I say, no one can research everything. But not to research what is compelling or beloved is a lazy man's life. And not just lazy ... but also stupid and likely to backfire. I don't care if Wikipedia does it or Harvard does it or some genius does it or Sarah Palin does it ... just don't you do it. Find out about what you love. Find out about what you abhor. Quit kissing someone else's ass and find out.
Without finding out -- even about just one thing -- what sort of stupid wimp do you become? Six million people who are wrong may provide company, but that doesn't mean they are right or authoritative or authentic.
What you love. What you find compelling. Get to work. It'll make you happier.
End of discombobulated rant.