I’ve been listening to a lot of Ted Talks while working on my trailer the last couple of weeks. I’ve been enjoying them, mostly, but I’ve also become annoyed at the presenters saying, “The reality is…” before making assertions. It’s a powerful-feeling thing to say, and I think for lot of people it may be a powerful-feeling thing to hear. It may even help these presenters change peoples’ minds. When I hear that phrase, though, I go off on a mental tangent something like this: “Wow, sounds like you think you have direct contact with reality the way the Pope thinks he has direct contact with God. That’s either pretty arrogant or pretty careless of you to say. I wonder if you are that careless or arrogant when analyzing the data that you are summarizing right now. Or maybe you have a handle on how much direct contact you have with reality and you’ve just said that because you think I will be swayed by you talking that way. Are your ideas not strong enough to stand on their own? Oh, and what was it you were saying for the last 30 seconds?”

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