Sunday, April 29, 2012

Try this on for size: I was wrong

A few weeks ago, I was in a discussion about pit bulls.  A friend of mine, who works for the county's animal control services, was bemoaning the fact that whenever there's a Pit bull attack, it always makes the news, but other kinds of animal attacks never do.

I got into the discussion and pointed out that while I believe the media certainly does prefer hype over facts, there were certain things about Pit bulls that one could not deny.  After all, if a Pit bull bites you versus a Golden Retriever, it's going to be much worse.  Why?  Because of the fact that Pit bulls have a more powerful bite than other breeds.

There was a slight problem though.  See, my "fact" about Pit bulls turned out to not be a "fact" at all.  I was quickly informed of my error.  (You can check out more Pit bull myths here.)

So how did I respond?  Well, I continued to insist that Pit bulls have a more powerful bite.  I even doubled-down and said that they could chew with their back teeth while holding on with their front.  Shoot, I even said that Pit bulls were the direct descendants of Velociraptors and that they were the breed of choice for Satan's guard dogs in Hell.  I mean, what was I supposed to do?  Admit that I was WRONG?

Actually, that's exactly what I did.  Not only that, but I did this crazy thing where I amended my opinion to fit the facts.  Crazy, isn't it?  What's worse is that I've done this before.  Even nuttier, I take it as a matter of personal pride that I'm willing to openly admit when I'm clearly wrong about a factual matter.  I also think it's a good quality to be able to change your opinions.

Unfortunately, not everybody is like this.  I've been in two different conversations lately where the other person was DEMONSTRABLY wrong, but in both cases, the person refused to back down.

I just don't get that mentality.  With the Pit bull thing, there probably are people out there who, when in my position, would continue to present that particular bit of info as a fact.  Some people just seem to have this odd habit of thinking that they need to believe the first thing they hear, and any information that comes later must automatically be wrong.  I'm sure that I was like that as a child.  I know that I would pretty much accept whatever my parents said was the truth - just as all children do - and when I heard something different, that other person was obviously crazy.

That's fine when you're twelve, but eventually you have to grow up and realize that not only could you be wrong about some things, but you probably ARE wrong about some things.

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