Believe it...or noooooooooooot.

There is a brief quote in Sarah Koenig's first season of Serial where she says that growing up, her father told her, "All facts are friendly", and she questions the accuracy of the statement.

I have borrowed that expression once or twice since, and in my opinion, her father basically had it right.  I would say it slightly differently - all facts are neutral.  It's your opinion of, and reaction to those facts that makes them positive, negative, scary, comforting... the facts themselves are that red plastic egg holding the Silly Putty.  Once you open the egg and manipulate the contents, then you have your perception.  The red egg is the container.  It doesn't change.

But that's a long way of saying that all facts are friendly - i.e., you shouldn't be afraid of the truth.

Where am I going with this?  Fair question.

I have been working on some training materials for a business partner.  After I sent my first draft, she asked me to add a slide to include information about two concepts that I'll call X and Y.  I was completely unfamiliar with both of these concepts, but I did a quick search on the Google, and two clicks later, I had clear, succinct definitions and a general understanding of X and Y.  But, as it just so happens, there's also a Z that is mentioned with X and Y, and it's relevant - it's like saying, "There are ham sandwiches and turkey sandwiches.  There is a less frequent option of egg salad sandwiches, which you may never run into, but since we're talking sandwiches, egg salad."

So, I write it up, explaining it pretty much as above and send it off.  I get back a question about the egg salad.  She's never heard of this egg salad, am I sure it's a thing?  So I send her the "menu" where I found this sandwich, and I agree that it's obscure, but I'm referencing the menu, and in fact, several other menus agree, yeah - this egg salad, it's a thing.

So, she replies, yeah -  she sees the menu, it definitely says egg salad.  But she thinks that will confuse people, so let's not talk about egg salad.  Ham and turkey only. 

I knew I wasn't going to win this one.  I mean, I kind of already did by having several well-known, well-regarded menus to prove my point, but if she wants to ditch the egg salad, so be it.

Just because something is confusing doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about it.  Hell, I found Algebra to be confounding, and nobody ever said, "You know what, you shouldn't be bothered with this - go take an extra History or something."   And you know, eventually, I learned some limited uses for it, which is nice.  Worth the confusion, even.

Admittedly, in the grand scheme, this will not impede anyone from doing their job, or endanger lives of others.  I think it's a difference in philosophy.   I like knowing obscure things.  I remember being in Kindergarten, and they were asking for an animal starting with the letter Z.  Zebra, obviously.  But somewhere, I had heard of an animal like a cow, called a Zebu, so I mentioned that one as well.  I don't know if they thought I was making shit up, or being a pain in the ass, or what.  But I had read about, or seen on Sesame Street, or heard about somewhere, these Zebus, and I felt like people needed to know - hey, there's another Z animal, motherfuckers, how cool is that?

Zebu | Alimentarium
Oh, hell yeah.  I see you, Zebu.
I do this kind of thing a lot.  I did it as recently as two days ago when I informed people that the pineapple is actually a berry.  Which is sort of an oversimplification.  Specifically, it is a cluster of small berries that have fused to make a larger fruit. 

Oh, yes, friends - I am a fucking delight at parties.  I often announce or footnote a statement with "fun fact!".

I am told, by many people that my memory for details is impressive, unnerving, unusual.  Which I'm sure both suits be for being a trainer, but may be confusing for others.

And that's OK.  I'm friendly.   I'm an egg salad-loving Zebu, and that's OK.