Over the years, I’ve engaged in online conversations with readers. Some of these have been very productive from both our points of view and some have been – well, frustrating for one or other of us.
As a result, I’ve taken the following attitude.
It’s my job to present information as I understand it. To give you my interpretation of that data and to try to make myself clear in my opinions of what works and what doesn’t work.
It’s my pleasure to express my opinion on some things (like this)
It’s not my job to change your mind.
It’s not my job to debate minute definitions and points of view.
There’s No One Right Way
There are an incredible number of ways to garden. Or, to be more accurate, in my opinion there is no one right way. There are simply too many variables to deal to be able to provide “THE” way.
But many folks think their way to garden was carved in tablets and brought out of the compost pile on the backs of a team of sweating head-gardeners.
The one right way folks come in all manner of theories and beliefs and data-proving. From chemicals to organics to… well, you get the picture.
So. If you want to split hairs with me about what is or is not composting – then you can have the last word.
If you want to debate the meaning of words, I’m going to use a dictionary and let my interpretation stand. And you can still have the last word.
If you want to chide me for not supporting your politically correct method of gardening – that’s your right. But don’t be surprised if I don’t comment back once I understand it’s your belief.
Beliefs Versus Theories
Some times it’s hard to find the difference between a belief and a theory.
But the bottom line, is that beliefs resist change with all their might and theories change based on research.
Beliefs can’t be tested but theories can.
So, if you have a fact or theory I have wrong and can show me serious data, I’m good to read it, learn and change my own mind.
(As an aside, serious data means serious research backing it up. Not somebody’s blog or shoddy testing.) I note I change web pages as often as I can when new data comes my way.
And I also note there are often conflicting or nuanced research results. I noted these in one of the Premium newsletters when I talked about two BioChar experiments and how Biochar appeared to have some success but there were still a great many variables (the original source of the material to be burned) and effects (changes in soil pH). These are not mentioned by those touting this material as the next silver bullet.
But if you want to split hairs, or try to tell my your belief is fact, then I’m going to give you the last word because my job isn’t to change your belief.
I Don’t Split Hairs
And boy, do some folks love to debate ad nauseum when they get their minds bent onto a decent hair splitting exercise. You know the kind – you meet them and they must “win” every “discussion”.
My job is to give you the facts as I understand them. And yes, that’s my belief. 🙂
Some Garden Writers Shake Their Heads
Some colleagues shake their heads when I say this.
They think it is our job to debate and discuss all issues until there’s a resolution.
My experience is there are some folks who want to debate. Folks who insist on being right and will shift and turn the conversation to continue debating. The debate is the thing – winning is the thing they want.
You know these folks in real life. You know people who want to debate endlessly until you stop.
They exist online as well.
And I refuse to play their game. It’s my job to give you the best information I can (and share my beliefs in blog posts like this one.)
It’s not my job to change your mind – that’s your job.