Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. I hold no designations in politics and am a humanitarian and speak from that viewpoint only. Whether you agree or not, at least I hope it makes you think. There are every day assumptions that we make…and some of those may be faulty. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned!
As Darren Shan said, “We all make basic assumptions about things in life, but sometimes those assumptions are wrong. We must never trust in what we assume, only in what we know.” There are some things like, food cooked in an oven is hot upon coming out remains a safer assumption to make. To make this assumption will result in avoiding injury. However, there are assumptions we make, that unless we are in the know about how things are done, we will be making false assumptions. For example, people assume that because a Government has certain vehicles, that they had choices in the vehicles. Having worked for Government some years ago, I can safely say that this might not be accurate. Often things such as vehicles are done through contracts that have to be honored and some maintenance is as well. Some maintenance should not be, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. This might mean that they have to honor a contract to buy a certain type of vehicle size or variety from a certain dealer. Of course more modern alternatives do exist, but they may not be among the ones that the agency has the right to choose from.
Another assumption is that the head of a particular Province or Territory has all the information at their fingertips. That they know the rubbish that is going on in a particular area. That could be furthest from the truth. Many years ago, I worked for a Government Department. I won’t say where or which one to protect privacy though it was well over 20 years ago. The point, however the agency was part of the group working toward trying to get the Province a higher rating. Now, I knew that the particular road they would have to take to their showcase property would be horrible and the bumps and grinds that would occur to the agency leaders would be a sure detraction from the goal. I informed the second in charge of what I had observed and suggested that if they wanted to have an increase in prestige, they would be much better off to take a helicopter to the destination. Goal was achieved. They had listened to me…a lowly secretary. However, I also chose the right person to tell it to. One of the bosses, I wouldn’t have wanted working with a puppy let alone people. The other was a decent enough man and I wanted to help his career. I’m sure in some small way it did the job…they did have a rise in the rating. This does illuminate further the idea that the politicians in question might not have any clue whatsoever as to how bad the current situation is for one particular area.
One of the reasons I try to have back up with either facts or with real life experience in my blog posts and podcasts is that it helps to back up what I am saying and why I say it. I’m not just blowing smoke up your skirts dear readers and followers. I don’t rely on assumptions of logic. As C.C. Hunter said, “But you are making assumptions without all the facts, and that’s not a sign of intelligence.” If we want to make a point and have it taken seriously, it is imperative that we not make the point out of the blue with no indication of why we are making said assumptions. Of course, this is not to put down people making assumptions. People have to make judgements somehow.
As Douglas Adams has said, “The hardest assumption to challenge is the one you don’t even know you are making.” This is a difficult one. You see, people assume things which can make them miserable. Things like life is fair. This assumption is one that underlies a lot of the anger and upset that exists. Once people give up that assumption, there is a whole lot of stress taken off. Life is, in fact not fair. Good people get hurt, people are rewarded for bad behavior without even thinking about it. If life was fair, then everyone would have enough food on the table, a place to live, be able to pay their bills, not be living pay check to pay check. Life is not fair. Leave this assumption by the wayside and you see that you need to speak up when things are wrong. People might not understand. You can do your civic duty. You can try to improve your little corner of the world. Past that, we cannot change the world overnight. We can’t even get people to agree to wear masks. How can we even consider that the world will be fair and we have a chance at world peace?
As Margaret Mead is credited with saying, “The assumption that men were created equal, with an equal ability to make an effort and win an earthly reward, although denied every day by experience, is maintained every day by our folklore and our daydreams.” The only great truth is that we run things on faulty assumptions and we live life by following them. Further, as Daniel Handler has said, “Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make, bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake, if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.” Of course the degree of trouble is determinant on the type of assumption you are making. Making assumptions about constructs like freedom, fairness, and life can lead us down the garden path. There is another saying about what Assume makes out of us, but I think I’ll skip that one. Most children know this one by heart anyway. Maybe that too is a faulty assumption. Time will tell.
The most important thing one can consider when it comes to assumptions is that they are just ways of thinking about things. We either have to prove or disprove them. To put this in more scientific terms, “Assumptions, by their very nature, are hypotheses.” (Victor Bogart Ph.D.). Which seems the safest way to look at every day assumptions. It doesn’t suggest that people are wrong or right, just that we have to look at what is given and decide if it is something that is provable or not? Is it something that we need to look deeper into? Is it something that we need delve into further?
If you doubt the importance of testing assumptions, you just have to look to business to prove that it is terribly important. https://www.collectivecampus.io/blog/the-number-one-piece-of-advice-for-corporate-innovation-teams-test-your-assumptions indicates that a great number of start-ups fail due to lack of testing of the assumptions of market fit. So, whether you write a blog post and/or podcast or you run a business or even a Province or Country, you cannot go wrong in testing assumptions and understanding that there is far more to assumptions than meets the eye. Assumptions made without finding out the facts behind them are just hypothesis floating in thin air. In fact, most of science and business benefits from testing of hypothesis and in making clear the assumptions. Further, https://www.farreachinc.com/blog/riskiest-assumptions-custom-software explains assumptions and risk. There is a whole field of Statistics that deals with assumptions and evaluating them. So, it is definitely a complex area of study for those interested in it. But, for the general person, it is sufficient to understand that not all assumptions are going to fare well in reality. Assumptions are the main thing being tested in the experimental world and there, it is important to examine assumptions in order to construct better tests.
So, the trick to assumptions is knowing when there is a safe assumption such as hot food coming out of a hot oven will be hot and knowing when there is not a safe assumption. That is why politics, running anything and life in general is hard. We have to weed out when we need proof of what we say and when there are self-evident assumptions. However, even then there is going to be a difficult time to sort out the wheat from the chaff. We can only do the best we can do. Just learn to hold assumptions loosely.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
Keep watching for more e-books and more formats! We’re always working on something. Thank you! The podcast that matches this blog post can be found on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/Assumptions-The-Good–the-Bad–the-Ugly-e1k3hf8
Assumptions: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly – E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA Author A & J PEI Treasures
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