Opinions formed on the back of no information at all are exceedingly difficult to dislodge.
From newspapers, T.V. “news”, magazines and the internet (courtesy of so-called “answer” sites – whose contributors generally have an opinion on everything except the English language – through to all too pervasive “encyclopaedias”), come ready-made opinions for you to choose from (if you’re stuck, doubtless there are a plethora of web-sites which will make the choice for you).
Irrational and baseless opinion forming is, after all, the foundation of politics (party, earth, and social), brand loyalty and many, many social paradigms. It’s a syndrome which has often been annoying, is always tedious and sometimes downright dangerous.
The last few years, however, we have had a new mutation to contend with: QI syndrome …
So, now people get even more supercilious and condescending because they’ve “heard it on QI”. For those of you who don’t know: QI is a T.V. show which purports to entertain by presenting little-known “facts” in an entertaining and informative way. Never mind about proof (our researchers are better than your researchers); never mind about citations (because we say so); never mind about qualifying, quantifying or naming our (scientific) sources and definitely never mind if we’re plain wrong.
Still, we must never mind, as it’s entertainment for thinking people.
Thinking people like us.