Saturday, 24 May 2014

My New Blog

Well I suppose I'd better introduce myself.  I'm Wendy, an administrator working for a facilities management company. I'm opinionated and a bit of a smart alec but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Knowledge is power annoying useful

Honestly, I fail to understand this thing where people take pride in not knowing things. We, as a society, have been conditioned to think of people who learn and know things after they've finished compulsory education as being somehow different. Other. Weird.

Well, as I said in my profile I ask awkward questions, don't accept what I'm told and question everything in a bid to get to the root of the truth of a matter. This makes me somehow different, other, and weird. I'm not going to change because that would make me feel like a stranger in my own skin, so no matter who gets annoyed that I don't accept opinions based on feelings, or someone else's ideology, or a desire to fit in with a particular crowd instead of on facts and logic, I'm not going to change.

Skepticism has value when used as a brake on opinion while searching out the truth of a matter but I often see it used as a tool to shut down debate. That's not skepticism, that's denial. Dictionaries exist, people! Use them.

Opinions and empirical evidence

My opinions are based on the information available to me at the time and are subject to change for that reason. Since I'm basically conservative, I've often had to hack my own mind to permit myself to even consider things such as decriminalising recreational drug use and prostitution. However, where these things are either treated as a health issue or taxed and regulated, the problems that come with attacking a demand-side problem on the supply side tend to be reduced. The fact that I'm uncomfortable with the idea that this somehow makes activities I disapprove of "respectable" is by-the-by.

The trouble with demand-side problems is that there is no solution. You have to manage them.

About that... getting people to accept that they themselves or people they know ARE the problem is unpalatable to them. Merely banning things doesn't work if there's a demand for them that won't go away, particularly when this demand is traditional or socially accepted in some way. Remember, where there's a demand, there will be a supply.

The value of pragmatism

You either want the problem to continue or you don't. You either want solutions or you don't. Choose. Your decision will either bring about the changes you desire or things will continue as they are because you can't bring yourself to consider empirical evidence on the issue. But evidence-based solutions are the most effective. Don't be too quick to reject them; challenge them and ask for as much information as you can get. Then decide.

This is who I am

I'm a pragmatic problem-solver and I bring this approach to everything from cooking my dinner to typing out blog posts to doing my day job. It informs everything I do, everywhere I go. If you want to understand anything about me, ask yourself if I see a particular opinion or approach to an issue as the most effective solution I'm aware of, and argue from there. You might *just* change my mind. It has been known to happen.

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