Friday, January 13, 2017

The Parliament of Clocks

When there really is no basis for determining something in a factual way, consensus becomes important - even more important than the truth.

There are times when consensus makes sense:

  • A time standard - the atomic clock - is agreed to be the "official" time.
  • The French - who invented it - define SI - the international system (better known in America as Metric Measurement).
  • Pantone sets the standard for color, and all other methods of identifying color agree to follow its color shadings standard.
  • If there is disagreement in a family about where to go on vacation, they may decide to vote, and accept the consensus of the majority. They might agree, by consensus, to cede that decision to a single person.
Where consensus cannot be the basis for determining things is in fields, such as science, where the data, and analysis of it, are critical. No matter how many scientists agree, if the data can be shown not to back up their consensus, they must give way.


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