In a brief and guarded recognition of the often misunderstood philosopher John Locke, I want to explore my beliefs concerning the phrase, "The truth is self-evident."
Additionally, and being aware of the thoughts that drove me to write this blog in the first place, whenever you see a place where I've written "we", you can generally translate that to "me", as in: "Steve is basically talking to himself." :)
When "we" arrive at a conclusion on a specific subject, there are a myriad of psychological factors that have impacted that process; some we are aware of, and some we aren't. Our brains process new information and "gauge" the importance of it using a haphazard and complex system of value judgments. Something as simple as a word or turn of phrase we don't like can negatively alter our perception of the information we are receiving. By the same token, a well-turned phrase can artificially enhance the perceived value of what we are reading/hearing.
This may seem like a pointless exploration of something we all basically understand, but we're not just average, run-of-the-mill people, are we? We are citizen-journalists of a progressive nature, and the credibility of our message is directly impacted by our perceived objectivity. As such, we can't afford to allow ourselves to be at the mercy of preconceived notions, and must challenge our own beliefs vigorously and frequently.
Case in point: I have advocated strongly here for Solar power, and have made some relatively bold statements about the way the system is (being) stacked against the proliferation of such. In my zeal to uncover what I viewed as "unfair practices", I mistakenly stated as fact something that was not true.
I had reported that power companies and the NCUC would only allow "peak time" credits to be put towards "off peak" usage, and not the reverse. This is correct. But I then explored the unfairness of this working on the assumption that peak time was during the evening when Solar power generation was not available. This assumption was based upon my preconceived notion that more energy was used at night because people were home from work, playing with all their gadgets and turning on all their lights and such.
In reality, the utilities' peak time is (mostly) daylight hours during the week. I just noticed this a couple of weeks ago, and my damned brain almost convinced me I was originally correct, and not to pay attention to this new information. :(
This does not mean that there isn't a conspiracy to hinder the growth of Solar power in this state (and elsewhere), but my efforts at advocacy have been undermined by my own flawed human imperfections.
In closing I will say: go forth and do good things, but do so with the knowledge that your biggest adversary may be your self.