Belief vs Knowledge

Porter Brook

Another one of them mornings.

I grab a coffee at a local cafe and listen to a professional gardener assuredly inform those present that ‘all the rivers are back to normal …. and Ladybower is nearly full’. He says this with such confidence that i begin to doubt my own eyes.

A quick look at the @envagency flow levels website, and a walk round the corner to look in the Porter Brook reassures me that my eyes work and that he’s talking horseshit.

But horsehit in a convincing way.

The horsehit that James o’ Brien has made a career out of calling out.

I then open social media and find a forum of rants about the de-silting and culverting work on the same local watercourse (the Porter Brook which flows from the edgeof the National Park in to the centre of Sheffield). Keyboard commentators that assuredly drop their ‘knowledge’ of what is going on in the Porter Valley in to a forum and then watch as it gains traction and truthfulness.

A walk with my canine frend up the Porter Valley led us to bump in to a Ranger from the City’s Parks Service who explained in detail what was going on, what was going wrong, and why. In detail. With the numbers. Almost all of which debunked the horseshit online.

I was ruminating the other day as whilst out walking about how as a society we have ‘progressed’ from living in villages and towns with barely any knowledge or news of the outside world, in to a society that elects to unquestioningly believe, and in turn regurgitate, what it reads on-line.

‘People would rather believe than know’ – Edward O. Wilson

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