Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Blog at the End of the Universe

In many ways, this writing project is about restoring or finding hope.  I won't deny that I'm hopeful that somehow the universe will guide a few lost souls here and that a few of those will actually take some time out of their lives to do a bit of reading.  This is hope in its purest, mythical form.  Perhaps even delusion.  Not only that, I find myself crossing a line: I'm planning to offer advice.  As if The InterCloud isn't already awash in beneficial information about fly fishing, I'm hoping to contribute something of value.  When I analyze the idea of offering advice, a few things cross my mind.

First, it implies a level of confidence, that the person offering the advice is proud that they have something valuable to offer, that their words and ideas will somehow be of value to some else.  Yet, I openly acknowledge that when it comes to fly fishing, I am a rank amateur.  What can a novice possibly have to offer anyone, much less the entire Internet, about a topic where there are plenty of ten-thousand-hour experts who are undoubtedly more capable.  The hubris!  The arrogance!  Bah!  What do you have to say for yourself, man?  Well, how's this:  guilty.

Second,  you may recognize a favorite axiom that I picked up somewhere in my teens: To teach is to learn twice.

Third, this is an invitation for feedback.  It's not a book being published in a one-way channel of communication, where feedback could only come from reviews.  I am again hopeful, daring to dream that someone more knowledgeable than myself will read this and challenge what I have to say.  This is an opportunity to learn and improve.  I often approach fly fishing from a scientific perspective, which means I apply my philosophy of science to the topic.  I believe the best scientist are the ones who openly invite others to find fault with their work and ideas.  Even better are the ones who actively work to prove themselves wrong.  Our understanding of life, the universe, and everything improves when we are open to adjusting our models of how things work.  The worst kind of scientists are the ones who insist they are right and that you are an idiot if you do not agree with them.

I've learned a little along the way, and sharing some of it could possibly help other beginners.  On the other hand, my knowledge could be incorrect, and I'd like to have the opportunity to replace my beliefs with better ones.  So, if you're reading this from a beginner's perspective and find something helpful, drop me a comment.  If you disagree with something I say, I welcome the chance to improve my understanding of the art. 

With any luck, my final words might be, "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

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