Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On research...


There is something that I need to get off my chest.

Every once in a while, I get a comment on a post that goes something to the tune of this:

"Obviously you didn't do any research or you wouldn't think this way.  Go do the research like I've done the research and you will think like I do."

Deep breath in.

I have a few things to say on the topic of "research."

1. I blog every day.  That is to say, I have blogged every day in the past and wish to get back into the habit again after just coming off my month-long hiatus for personal reasons.  Sometimes I have a clear idea for my post topic.  Other days I'm scrambling.  Certain days I have an abundance of time in which to write.  Other days I don't.  On those days where time is at a premium, I have a tendency to post about a headline or an article that I found curious.  A prime example of this would be my post on depleted uranium.  One of the reasons I'm curious is because I might not know much about the subject other than a cursory Googling.  Therefore, my "research" might not be quite up to snuff in those cases, but it's a blog post.  Not a fucking dissertation.

2. There is ALWAYS competing research.  Did you hear me?  There is ALWAYS competing research!  Even in disciplines where the majority proceed from what are believed to be a solid set of facts, there is most always a select division of people who dispute those claims based on their own "research."  Hence why we have a Flat Earth Society and people who believe we faked the Moon landings.  This is especially true in controversial subject matter such as UFOs.  In fact, it seems that such topics often bring out pissing contests of individual research, an activity that I have zero interest in involving myself.  Not only that, research can often times be agenda-driven but more on that in a moment.

I don't mind corrections to my research or my posts, provided they are done in a civil and level-headed manner (as per my Comments Policy).  I'll give you an example.

In my post on the Stephenville UFO incident, someone pointed out quite plainly that I had erroneously stated that the singer Jewel was from Stephenville, Texas.  Point taken and I corrected the sentence along with a thank you to the individual who brought it to my attention.

For a study in what not to do, let me tell you about what happened with my depleted uranium post.

I was contacted by an individual whom I shall name Corky.  The tone of Corky's comments were such that I took it to mean he fancies himself the world's foremost authority on depleted uranium.  So much so that Corky felt the need to contact me privately via multiple emails with pages upon pages of explanation of just how wrong I was and how depleted uranium is really a most delightful thing.  Indeed, he seems to have quite a passion for it.  I began to think that Corky sprinkles depleted uranium on his breakfast cereal and has also found a way to use it as a personal lubricant.   

But what drives someone like that?  "The truth!" Corky would say, no doubt.  I don't know about him, but often times "research" is done and cited in the name of selling a book, establishing a name or a career, or simply misguided passion enacted by someone who skipped their dose for the day. I have no desire to engage with anyone of those sorts.

In short, I'm not perfect.  I don't always get it right, even in arenas where I do have a great deal of knowledge already built in.  So if you want to let me know when that happens, great.

But save your pom-pom waving, "my research is the best!" hammerings for someone who cares.  Ditto for multiple page responses.  Just because you inundate me with information doesn't mean I'll read it.  All you'll be doing is wasting your time.

God knows poor Corky wasted his.


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