Opinions Vs Facts

- 1 min

Today we had the pleasure to have Anthony Eden, the founder of DNSimple with us for 8th Light University. During a small workshop we were doing, Anthony reminded us all about the fact that an opinion is not a fact and how very often the latter is confused with the first. This is an important distinction that we so often forget since it’s very easy to get carried away with all the social media and the buzz that follows things nowadays.

Clojure is way better at X. Elixir is so cooler than Y. Java is a mess compared to Z…

I’ve said these words myself on at least one occasion yet when I think about it, those weren’t necessarily my ideas but rather the ideas that I adopted from the crowd. One of the problems with statements like the above is context. In some contexts the above may very well be true yet in others they will be utter nonsense. A better approach perhaps is to begin with thinking in terms like “Do we need this?”, “Is this working?” or even a simple “Why?”.

The why is crucial. It’s what one should first explore before making statements like the above. It’s what I should keep in mind constantly. It only takes someone who has more knowledge than you on the subject to ask you for more information about your statement and put you on the spotlight in order to realize perhaps how little you know.

Facts and experience are the tools experts use. Opinions are often ephemeral, facts are not. Prefer the latter.

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