It is no fun to find out you’ve been duped. I recently deleted a post I had done a few years ago on the dangers of cooking with microwave ovens. I had read a scientific-sounding article and was completely convinced by it, even throwing out my microwave. Then I wrote a blog summarizing the article. Fast-forward to last week when I heard another allegation about the health hazards of microwaves. That led to finding out that at least two of the facts from the first article that I thought were true, were not. Now, here’s the problem: Does that mean the entire article was false? How can you know? We all find out 99.9% of our information from someone else. So whom do you trust?
How do you know what to believe? Someone said, well, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. (They wrote that on the internet.) Do I have to find a source that is written on a scroll or stone tablet now? Another person won’t look at information on a certain site because it has an “agenda”. Sorry, everyone has an agenda: I’ve got one right now. But they are selling something, they say. So you can’t believe someone’s information because they are selling something?
I think we are tired of being lied to, but I also think we go from one extreme to the other. We don’t want to believe anything that sounds outlandish, because we’ve been duped before and our pride got hurt too. But here again, the truth can be bizarre. There are many, many instances in history where information was dismissed as outlandish and later proven true.
I don’t know the answer. I sincerely wish that I lived in a perfect world and could trust everybody. Time seems to be the best way to prove the validity of something. But, in the meantime, I don’t think being overly cynical is much better than being too trusting. I’m not going to immediately fall for every conspiracy theory, but I’m not going to dismiss every crazy sounding thing as being utterly impossible either.
….. and I’m still not getting a microwave.