It is truly sad for this list when subscribers are afraid to state an
opinion for fear of being denigrated, insulted, or "flamed". As a long term
lurker, I can tell you that I've used the delete key and the archives more
often than active participation because of this fear.
In all that was tossed about today, one of the things I really wanted to say
and managed not to ever get to print is that even the most authoritave
resource is still an opinion. Some opinions are more authoritative than
others and we try to teach our students how to make educated judgments on
this matter. Someone with a PhD who has spent 20 years researching a topic
is probably a more authoritative resource than a college sophomore's term
paper, to make a very broad analogy. In the end, though, you can find
research, "authoritative research", to support almost any viewpoint you want
to espouse. That's one of the things they taught us in years and years of
stats classes; how to "lie" with stats. There are people on the list whose
backgrounds and educations make their opinions more "authoritative" than
mine. I've got a Master's Degree in Social Work and am a pretty good
authority in some areas of psychology. And, I have another degree in
computer technology. Neither of those make my any kind of authority on
things Celtic. I still have opinions, though, about some things Celtic.
But, I'm unlikely to enter in to a debate with those who are more well-read
and more educated in this area.
This list loses its attraction for those people, like me, who are here to
learn when opinions are not respected. To disagree is to be alive. A
sharing of knowledge is sublime. To insist one is right and another is
wrong is egocentric, self-centered, narcisistic, and lots of other words
that would be redundant. I hope to see a mutual respect among those
knowledgeable people on the list. I can decide for myself who or what I
think is "authoritative" when given sources and credentials. I don't need
to be told these things by someone else. Suggestions with a rationale are
okay. I'm right; you're wrong is not okay.
> Ducking for cover! Lol.