Stop Being So Offended

I see a regular pattern in the rising generation of technologists — they cannot take direct contradiction and disagreement without offense. This problem is exacerbated by the nature of the limited text medium and lack of real human connection. These people immediately project some bad motivation or “toxic trolling” for people who just directly take them to task for moronic ideas. Being easily offended is very dangerous. The best ideas only surface when all ideas are constantly and thoroughly challenged. That is the very basis of every scientific discovery.

[Stop Being So Offensive.]

No That’s Not Just My Opinion, It’s Scientific Fact

Part of the problem comes when people choose to believe things that are overwhelmingly proven to be categorically false, such as the Earth being round, or that much of the ice caps and glaciers of the world have melted. Those are facts even the least scientific human can see with their own eyes.

A Horrible Person Can Have a Great Idea

People regularly throw out amazing ideas and theories because of the person saying it. If Hitler said Linux was the best operating system on the planet certain people who burn every Linux machine they ever saw. Separating the idea from the person is absolutely critical for scientific and spiritual discovery.

I suppose this is different than pure hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. But hypocrisy is complicated. For example, Thomas Jefferson had 187 slaves yet he penned some of the most liberating, important words ever written. Was he a hypocrite or just stuck in a place of cognitive dissonance and reality unable to act consistently with what he believed? I certainly do not have that answer except to say that, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Jefferson’s ideas were sound, his life and actions perhaps not. Should we discard every good idea he had because of it? Absolutely not.