Jul 292012
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Down with Conventional Wisdom 


EXPERT (Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl)

One thing that starts to bug you as you get along in years is conventional wisdom- those things that everybody knows to be true but are actually wrong. What makes you suspicious is that over time the story changes. Those ‘experts’ who somehow make a living pretending they know what is best just suddenly tell a different story and pretend that it is the same one.  Not that ‘experts’ ever admit the switch. They just do it. And then, what is even more amazing, it seems that nobody ever notices. We just bounce right on over to the new story without skipping a beat.

Sooner or later you’ve had enough.  After you have this pulled on you a few times, you start to rebel. You wonder who made those ‘experts’ experts. You begin to think that maybe they don’t know as much as they think they do. Woody Allen noticed this years ago.  I’m not a great fan of Woody but as you probably know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Today, health experts are certain that they know what you should eat, how you should cook it and we don’t question.  These days the buzz is about raw- food, not WWF.  We’ve all been conditioned to the idea that the best vegetables are raw or cooked as little as

English: Cut Green Beans Español: Habichuelas ...

English: Cut Green Beans Español: Habichuelas o ejotes, preparados y listos para servir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

possible. We are told that they are better for us, better tasting and beautiful. Like the sheep that we are trained to be, we buy it. Nowadays everyone makes fun of the overcooked vegetables favored traditionally by the British as gray, tasteless and mushy. Few remember the Southern tradition of cooking vegetables for hours with ham fat. We shudder at the mention because we have been brainwashed to think that eating animal fat is unhealthy. Those beans may taste good but beware the heart attack that will surely follow. Maybe so but I remain suspicious of studies that confuse correlation with causation.  There is another way to cook green beans.

You’re Doing It Wrong: Green Beans

And while we are talking about health myths, aren’t you tired of people telling you how unhealthy modern life is? Aren’t you sick of people telling you to run around and shoot your food instead of going to the supermarket – or even calling in for delivery. Those flipping ‘experts’ would have you believe that you are killing yourself because you have an office job when you ought to be out running down a rabbit. Well the next time you hear that,

hunter gatherers are hot

give them a healthy one finger salute and get on with your life. They’ve got it all wrong.  Couch potatoes are just fine, thank you very much.

Are couch potatoes as fit as ‘hunter-gatherers’?

And finally, are you sick of people telling you that you need to create meaningless and cryptic passwords? Have you given up because you can’t possibly remember arbitrary strings of letters? Well relax because it’s actually much simpler than the experts tell you.

Make strong passwords the easy way

So start the week with a healthy skepticism about anything the ‘experts’ tell you. Chances are you’ve got a better handle on the right thing to do than any of those self-righteous know-it-all’s. Forget about them and their advice. Do it your own way.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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