Time To Return To The Reference Library?

Open books
book and glasses

book and glasses

I have been reading like mad this morning trying to find concise, credible, well presented answers to a question that arose on a discussion board, somewhere on the internet in a craft group, because while I know the answer to the question I can’t just answer it with my list of facts without being able to back them up with evidence. Okay yes I could, but why should anyone believe me any more than those who are giving incorrect answers? The answer is they shouldn’t, nobody should really believe anything they read on the internet is the absolute truth, sadly they do although sometimes this means they choose to accept that which it suits them to accept rather than that which is true.  I could digress here and go off into a rant about fact checking and the passing on, or not, of information you haven’t checked and so on and so on and so on but I won’t, because the point of this post is that I couldn’t find an easy way to back up the facts.

Oh I found lots of factual articles, from reputable organisations that know what they are talking about, but none of it was presented in a way that was easy to digest, concise, not filled with enough scientific twaddle to make anyone’s eyes close as they read it while enjoying their lunch.  The information I found that was well presented was either incomplete because it was presented by organisations with a vested interest in leaving out the negatives of this particular subject or was presented by someone who’s interest is the same as mine and so while what they say is true it couldn’t be verified any more than my own words could.

library

library

Maybe I need to go back to the way I got the information I have stored in my head, the old fashioned way, hours of studying in a library using real books, the type they don’t even lend out so you have to stay in the library and take notes. Can you just take photos of them on your phone these days? I have no idea, in my days of studying at college we didn’t even have mobile phones. I’m pretty certain we remembered it better by taking notes and writing it down than we would have done if we could just take a photo though and the only thing that ever spoiled the library study experience for me was the fact I couldn’t take food and drink in. Although of course the adult me understands why completely, the me of my youth just had to find something to complain about. My daughter tells me they’re allowed to use their mp3 players, so long as nobody else can here it, we weren’t allowed to use our walkmans*! Headphone technology has improved hasn’t it? My teenager wears her headphones around the house, it’s the only way to get her to wash up, and I have to shout at her from a distance of no more than 3 feet to get her attention yet I can’t hear so much as a whisper escaping from her headphones. My teenage headphones you could hear from a distance of 15 feet even at the lowest possible volume!

I don’t have time to do that today though. or tomorrow, or the day after, next week or even next month. In fact I probably won’t have time for a very long time so it’s unlikely to happen.

The point is that there are a lot of self declared experts out there on the internet, I am one on some things but I always try to provide credible references to back up my knowledge and on other things I haven’t the foggiest so I keep my internet mouth shut, others don’t!  It seems too many people don’t understand the difference between opinion and fact so it pays to do your own research, read plenty about a subject and pick the truth out from amongst the dross, keep an open mind where things aren’t so clear, and be prepared to always learn more.  And maybe even check the info in a library.

cotton seed head

cotton seed head

And the question that started all this?  Well, it was more a statement, one statement made by many people using different words with just a few voices trying to explain that while it was their opinion that this was the case it wasn’t actually factually correct and that the situation was far, far more complicated. That statement – “Always make things with pure cotton as it’s completely natural and not harmful to the environment”. If you agree with that statement then please, please, go and do some research, I may attempt again to collate some info here with good reputable references but it’ll have to be when I have a lot of time available to do it.

Oh, and if you haven’t stepped foot inside your local library for a while then go take a look, I promise they’re not really the boring old stuffy research based places I was remembering above. In fact they weren’t even then, it’s easy to remember them as that because I was no more than a teenager for most of it and like most teenagers I didn’t appreciate what I had at the time.  I’d love to go back to some of the old libraries I used back then not just for the books but the atmosphere and to re-live those days when I was young and hadn’t yet let the world blind me to any of it’s beauty.

 


walkman

The walkman. Everybody loved their walkman!

*a groundbreaking, state of the art gadget that made our music portable and at least semi private consisting of a plastic box that was always slightly too big to fit in your pocket but could accommodate and play a cassette tape which we could then hear through a pair of headphones attached to your ears via a fine metal alice band that moved if you dared to shake your head, if you actually bent right over they’d fall off, And everyone else around around you could hear as well, We loved our walkmans!

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