I don't talk politics, religion, etc. on this blog because it's just not the place. I have plenty of strong opinions (somewhere my wife laughs in the background) and I know that lots of my friends have very different, equally strong opinions. But, this is America, after all, and one of the best things about this country is the idea that people with all sorts of differences agree to get along in some sort of mutual respect. I very much believe that we're all better off for this.
That said, there is a big difference between opinion and ignorance, and it drives me crazy when I interact with people who absolutely INSIST that something is fact, even when it is clearly, demonstrably untrue. An easy example is astrology- the notion that astrology has ANY scientific basis has been debunked so completely that I can't even pretend to make polite conversation with anyone serious about it... it's like trying to have a polite conversation with someone who is telling you that the earth is flat. I just make a mental note never to bring it up again and walk away depressed at the state of mankind.
I give up because I know that the other person has chosen not to listen, not to think, not to be logical. We ALL have our cherished myths - all of us.... the key is knowing when to confront your own myths and accept them as such. You don't even have to do anything different, you just have to internally acknowledge that you are doing something illogical and know it.
I speak from personal experience. I've been driving old heaps of shit since I learned to drive. Until Liv and I got married in 2006 (and I became a co-owner of her Toyota) I'd never owned a car made after I was born- and I was born in 1966. The newest car I ever owned was my first car, a '63 VW bus that was 23 years old when I bought it in 1986. I've never bought anything newer than a '64 model since.
My own cherished myth was that old cars, having more steel, and being more solid, were just as safe - or safer - than the crappy new cars on the road. I pointed to my '62 Valiant wagon which survived a direct hit from a '73 Chevy doing 40 mph and drove away from the accident as proof. It was kinda ugly, but mechanically, it was unscathed. (Please note that I didn't believe that Crosleys were in any way, shape or form, safe; I knew that I was a goner if I was hit in a Crosley by anything larger than a BMX bike.)
Last year, I was disabused of my beliefs about the relative safety of old cars. I stumbled across this video from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, made to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It didn't change my habits - I still drive old cars, and probably always will - but it made me realize that I was wrong. I drive old cars because that's what I do, but at least now I'm not kidding myself, and if anything happens, c'est la vie - I may be dead, but at least I won't be dead and dumb.