Just the Facts, Ma’am

That’s what Jack Webb used to say on the famous police drama “Dragnet” as sergeant Joe Friday, who was just interested in the evidence, not opinion.

The internet today provides access with great facility to billions of sources of information, opinion, rumor, and weirdness. When you’re trying to make a case for a position—whether for a client, a book, new IP—don’t merely seek sources favorable to your point of view. Seek knowledgable sources on the subject that also may change your point of view, add to it, or counter it. That’s the true nature of rational inquiry.

Too often we’re engaged in bolstering our arguments by using any source imaginable, just so we have some “backup.” Those positions are too easily shattered, cobwebs blown away in the wind of true research.

You don’t need to call the cops, but make sure you seek “just the facts.”

© Alan Weiss 2016

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