Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why I do what I do, and why you should (and shouldn't) listen to me

Not actually Erin.
This lady is Rosaline Crow.
Picture by kjten 22.
I apologize in advance if this comes out as a detached torrent of word-vomit, but I have something on my mind that's been stewing for a while now and I really need to get it out.

I am not an expert on anything*.   I believe I have said this from the beginning, and if not, I'm saying it here: I'm not an expert on prepping, or on firearms, or on anything else I talk about on this blog. I do not speak for my other co-bloggers in this manner, just myself.

I am what I call a "Useful Idiot".  I don't mean this in the political sense (although I am aware of the term and use it ironically); I mean this in the sense of More often than not, I don't know what I'm doing. If I manage to succeed in what I am doing, then that means anyone with a bit of skill or training can get it to work, too. If I fail, I am an example to you of what NOT to do.  Don't use me as a role model; use me as an object lesson instead. 

Why, then, do I talk about things as if I have authority? Because I've basically reached my limit in the learning I can do through reading, and now I'm looking for experience and exchange of ideas in order to improve myself. Since I have some skill at writing, I figured I would put my limited experience (and, therefore, my unlimited ignorance) on display so that I could learn from other people.

Exchange of information and learning from others is the entire reason I started this blog.  Every time I read an article by one of the other writers, I learn something new. That's huge for me. Just by being here, I am becoming smarter because I directly benefit from the wisdom of the authors (and, indeed, the commenters) here.  I want Blue Collar Prepping to be a place of learning and exchange of ideas -- dialectic, not rhetoric, should be the order of the day here. 

However, it really chafes my butt when people start arguing matters of opinion like they are facts. Disagree with someone all you like, but unless you can prove them factually wrong, just agree to disagree. Philosophies on prepping are often matters of judgement, and we won't know who is right and who is wrong until the after-action reports have been written. The same goes for discussions on guns.

When I screw up, I admit it. As an example, until I started writing this blog I believed both that "revolvers are more reliable than semi-auto pistols" and that "an AR-15 round will over-penetrate and go through multiple walls". Since then, I've read a lot of ballistic reports on how high-velocity AR ammunition will tend to disintegrate once it hits something hard, and I've heard from many people who know their guns that while a revolver is less likely to break, when it breaks it breaks HARD.  When confronted with these facts, I do my best to swallow my pride and admit that I have been wrong. While being wrong sucks  (it's very embarrassing to me),  I would rather be proven wrong here, where I can make a correction and improve myself, than continue with a mistaken belief and learn a lesson the hard way.

In conclusion:
  • I put my ignorance on display so that I can learn and improve. This is rather like an out-of-shape person going to the gym.
  • Don't blindly believe everything I say, as I could very well be wrong. Go out, try it for yourself, and if I'm wrong, let me know. I will own up to my errors.
  • If it works for an idiot like me, then either I got very lucky or it will work for you, too. 
  • If it doesn't work for me, then learn from my mistakes (or tell me what I'm doing wrong).

 Thank you, and I hope you've all had a lovely weekend.

*Well, not unless you count role-playing games and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and even then there are people more hard-core about it than I. 

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