Sunday, October 21, 2012

I have a problem

See, I know a lot of facts.  And I like to tell them to people, because having a more informed populace is good, right?

Well, I'm just afraid my friends will hate me.

Consider the following, which was posted on my Facebook wall by a very good friend, whom I'm very close with:
My first reaction was to comment something like this:

"Actually, it wasn't a space jump.  People said that Felix jumped from 'the edge of space,' but actually, the (arbitrarily) politically defined 'edge of space' is 100 km above Earth, and Felix only jumped from 37 km up.   However, if we're talking about the scientific edge of space, you could say that there are still remnants of earth's atmosphere as far as 10000 km away.  However, it is the highest he could have physically gotten in his helium balloon, because helium rises only because it is less dense than air.  The atmosphere gets less dense the higher you go, so above 37 km, helium is no longer less dense than the atmosphere, and the balloon won't rise any higher.  I agree though, it was a pretty cool jump."

However, I read that over, and immediately I became slightly worried that my friend would hate me to the end of time for going all factual on what was clearly meant as a fun post.

So, as of yet, I haven't commented.  I don't know what to say!

This problem isn't new, either.  And the last time, I actually posted the comment.  AND it was on a political post, making it 10 times worse.

One of my friends was talking about the news that Romney was using a KKK slogan in his campaign.  This sounded ridiculous to me, so I googled it.  I found the following sources of information:
a) The campaign video that used the alleged KKK slogan
b) The Washington Post article that accused Romney of the deed
c) The editor's note at the top of the article, which admits that the article "contains multiple serious, factual errors" including that fact that the video that sparked this whole debacle says, at the end, "Mitt Romney does not actually support this ad."

So I commented on my friend's post with this news.  I was pretty polite about it, I think.  I guess my friend was a bit unhappy with how I had ruined her anti-Romney post.  Oops.

I just don't know what to do.  I try to tell my friends interesting things (like, last week I enlightened them about how the Earth is in a stable orbit with the sun, which is what prevents us from spiraling inward into a fiery combustion).  And the other day, when we walked by a creepy winged angel statue, I educated them all about the dangers of blinking.

Seriously though.  I don't know how to reply to the Felix post.  What do I do?

Also, here's my Felix Baumgartner artwork!  The Gallifreyan text says "Sometimes you have to get really high just to see how small you are."  Which is an actual Felix quote before he jumped.


  1. First of all the artwork is great :) As for the rest, I'm of the belief that people need to be taught the facts, even if they don't really want to. If they're wrong it just makes them look stupid. I say this as someone who has been wrong, and felt very stupid about it. Maybe don't tell them that entire wall of text, but do just point out it wasn't a space jump. Or just don't act on that particular post, it's been quite some time now. You've now worried yourself so much about what to say that you've missed your window to say anything.

  2. that was one epic jump though


  4. Beautiful Gallifreyan artwork, as always!

    And I have a solution to your problem! Whenever you have insight like that to share but don't want to impeach on someone else's facebook space (because yes, it can be rude), just post it somewhere else, like you did here! But if you REALLY want to get it out of your system, make it the focal point. Options:

    1. Write a new facebook status/argument countering the things "some people are saying." Don't make it too long, but explain yourself. If well-written, people will take notice and like it/start a conversation.
    Benefits: The person in question might see it.
    Drawbacks: The person in question might see it.

    2. Rant about it in lengthly twitter word vomit.
    Benefits: Uncensored frustration and cathartic release.
    Drawbacks: You just held an argument on twitter.

    3. Write a blog post ALL about the issue and argue your point!
    Benefits: A sense of permanence for your ideas on the interwebs and thoughtful discussion from the blogging community.
    Drawbacks: The person from Facebook probably won't see it. I mean, you can't very well just link them up and say "HEY LOOK! I wrote a WHOLE BLOG POST about HOW YOU ARE WRONG and published it on the internet! Wheeeeee! :D"

    Yeah. XD


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