Friday, February 13, 2015

Always Do Exactly What Your Wife Tells You

Discussion about vaccinations is occupying a ton of space in popular media right now. I  even saw a couple of other dad bloggers (AKA my filthy competition for dad blog supremacy) had written posts on the matter.

But, because I promised Mrs. Blackwell I wouldn’t weigh in on this topic, I won’t. You hear that honey? I’m doing just as you say — again.

Besides, no one visits this space to get my expert position on matters of proven science and modern medicine. No, for concerns of such a vital nature we rely on discredited physicians and a woman who gained her fame by making fart sounds on MTV 20 years ago.
"Oh yeah science? Prove it."

If nothing else, this episode should serve some greater good for those of us who’ve already “drank the Kool Aid” and enjoy not learning firsthand how an Iron Lung works.

The value I take from this preposterous discussion masquerading as legitimate debate is that it’s reinvigorated my conviction to not waste time and to teach my son the same.

So, that’s what this post is about: time and the lack thereof. (You hear that honey? I'm not writing about vaccinations.)

According to the Internet, Steve Jobs said time is the most valuable resource we have. Who are we to argue with the guy who made it appear he invented the computer and the MP3 player?

Mr. Jobs was right about the value of time: for us humans, it’s finite and, since they’re not making more of it, I’m going to be sure the boy doesn’t waste his.

Master Blackwell is going to inherit, from both of his parents, a strong skepticism of both authority and popularly accepted truths. But he’ll also know that, when a question or “debate” can be cleared up with — literally — five minutes on the Internet, you take that five minutes, research, and move on.

A few years from now, when the boy gets older and examines this period in world history, he’ll identify some very real, very serious problems that required — and escaped — genuine, thorough scrutiny.

“Why Dad,” he’ll ask me, “did you waste so much time debating the value of proven, lifesaving, medicine when there were so many other problems that needed solving?”

“Well son,” I’ll reply, “for a while in our history, it wasn’t polite to ignore imbeciles, who were dragging humanity down. Instead, we as a society yielded to people representing even the lowest common denominator of human thought.”
Pictured: trusted medical expert.

“But dad, you’re the same man who yells at inanimate objects and takes three hours to replace a battery in the garage door opener, yet somehow there were people dumber than you?”

“There weren’t many son, but they were loud.”

“You see son,” I’ll continue, now ignoring the fact that he’s no longer listening, “I’m not sure when it happened but, at some point, opinions became as valuable as facts. So, if someone didn’t like the facts, they refuted it with opinion. It was also popular for people to inject politics or religion in with these opinion arguments.”

“So, let me get this straight,” the boy will say, now having rejoined the conversation, “as a society, you served as an audience and engaged with people who were discredited, had no expertise and were advising a course of behavior that was dangerous to civilization?”

“Yes, we did,” I’ll say, with a deep gulp. “We listened to them and, for good measure, gave them equal footing with scientists who were backed by decades of proven research. We watched real experts face personal attacks and baseless accusations that they were bought and paid for by drug companies. Then we made them re-prove the science, the benefits of which we’d been enjoying for decades.”

“In short, son, we stopped asking important questions, and opted to question one the few things that was unquestionably good.”

“Sounds like a you guys wasted a lot of time,” the boy will say, while on his way out the door on his rocket bike.

“Yes, son, yes we did.”

(You see honey, I told you I wouldn't write about it.)


Rona Kay said...

Thanks for not writing about vaccines. This time management piece is spot on.

Blackwell said...

My pleasure Rona Kay. I'd hate to waste your time!