Blech! Just the other day, I said that I wanted to write more and, to that end, I would try to be more spontaneous. As the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, might say, “How’s that spontaneity thingy workin’ out fer ya?” I’ll tell you how that’s working out, I’ve written 1200 words of a post today and got burned out by fact checking.
For the first time since I started this blog, a couple of days ago I deleted a comment. As I mentioned in that post, “A Comment I Almost Made,” the final leg on my journey to a skeptical viewpoint was learning to take received wisdom about health and “wellness” with a major grain of salt. I have no idea why health issues are relegated to the lifestyle section of the newspaper and covered in the media with less rigor than “hard” news. The commenter was understandably unhappy. I’m not sure there is a polite way of deleting a comment. However, I’ve heard that when people are presented with false information, they retain it even after hearing a correction. Somewhere in the box of papers in which I threw everything that was sitting on my desk the last time I moved there is some notes from a lecture I went to go hear in which a philosopher was discussing the question of how we know what we know and he seemed especially disturbed by the spread of false information on the internet. On a similar note, the website of the magazine Popular Science shut down its comment section. However, one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was to reach out to people and I have not found commenters on this site to be uncivil.
So, if someone makes an incorrect claim, unintentionally in this case, what should I do?
Anyway, I’m still chewing over this incident because I’m not entirely comfortable with it. Beyond that, I had to ask myself the question, “Was I right.” Because if I’m going to delete comments over facts, as opposed to opinions, then my facts should be correct.
So I started to write a post about diet and skepticism and it’s turning out to be a much bigger job than I thought, even though it’s quasi-autobiographical as almost all my posts are.
Anyway, that’s where I am at the moment.
I wouldn’t have started a blog if I was just going to post frivolous stuff, but on the other hand writing serious stuff is time-consuming.