And on…

I really do need to make more than one blog post a month.  Of course, I was off for Thanksgiving for a week visiting family, and I've been trying to stay mostly offline when I go on vacation, (and hey, I'm BUSY)but even so.

In the airport before the plane flight back, I picked up a copy of State of Fear, by Michael Crichton.  He is not someone I consider one of my favorite authors, but somehow I own every book he's written.  State of Fear was an eye-opening read, for someone who considers themself an environmentalist.  That's not my point.  My point is a bit from the author's note at the end of the book, which resonated so strongly with me that I had to put it here.

"I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago.  The world changes.  Idealogues and zealots don't."

That's good stuff.

Comments (13)
  1. theCoach says:

    One of the all time classics, John Maynard Keynes responding to a criticism of inconsistency:

    "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

    I enjoy Michael Crichton’s writing, but strongly advise not taking his arguments on environmentalism seriously. If I remember correctly, he weaves the message into a murderous cabal.

    Crichton does probably pass along some good citations which are worth following up on, if you are interested, but make sure you get some responses by other credible people.

  2. theCoach says:

    Following a few links you also come to another quote master, John Kenneth Galbraith:

    "Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof." (wikipedia was also the source for Keynes)

  3. Garry Trinder says:

    Absolutely, Crichton is a fiction writer – his non-fiction references were the most interesting.

  4. James Aach says:

    I agree that we have far too many folks around these days who have decided everything, and then stick with that position no matter what. It’s not a healthy approach and it makes for many bad moments in punditry. On the other hand, in a fast-moving world with a lot of uncertainty, the bigger and broader the bedrock of beliefs you stand upon, the more comforting it is. So it’s very understandable that people gravitate towards this approach.

    FYI (and shameless plug): If you find Mr. Crichton’s method of fiction mixed with fact entertaining, and you like to test your views with new information, I’d refer you to my insider novel of nuclear power at Those on both sides of this issue will find much to agree with and much to ponder in "Rad Decision". There’s no cost to readers – who seem to like it, judging by the homepage comments. (One was even kind enough to compare it to Mr.Crichton’s work).

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