Let’s break down the word assume: Ass U Me. How’s that sound now?
Sounds to me like you and I are both asses if we assume, but we do it, almost every day of our lives. Ever wonder why that is?
My guess, based on my experience and obvious lack of information along the way, is that we’re too easily influenced by hype, need for acceptance and just plain lazy asses.
I have, or I should say had, because I think they disowned me for reasons they either refuse to state or seem to have some form of proof of my guilt, in either case, none that I know of are aware of the big picture, but they assume I am guilty as charged.
I will be the first to admit there are issues, many of which I’m guessing none of these assumptive rejectionists are well informed about, nor do they care to be. What they do care about it their ability to speak freely on matters pertaining to me as though they are experts on my life and philosophy.
What fools we be, to bend the knee, and blindly reject what we refuse to see.
I’ve learned that through writing and, probably more importantly, editing, the value of citations (aka cites) to substantiate a point; example:
“Jimmy stole Johnnie’s laptop! He should be arrested!”
First question that comes to my mind now is, how do you know this is true?
“Umm, er, ahh, well Johnnie told me.”
Second question, how does Johnnie know?
“I dunno, but he said he did.”
Pretty classic assumption on the part of junior, but not provable in court, unless of course, Johnnie has a pic, a recording, or a witness, all of which are, in essence, citations.
Had junior said, Johnnie said, “Sally saw Jimmy take his laptop, you would have a citation.” (OMG, I’m dating myself with those names; can’t wait to mention Spot.)
The issue is this, an assumption is nothing more than unproven idea based on no facts.
In writing, especially college level, citations are critical to every paper a student may write. If you’re quoting (citing) a comment in a book, you need to identify the book, author, page(s) and other information that allows the reader to access your proof.
In a court of law, what is a witness? Basically, a witness is a living citation. (I’m stretching the definition, but hey, if you’re starting to understand better, it’s worth it.
So let’s take this a step further with Credible Citations. Obviously, in our little scenario, Johnnie is not a very credible witness cause he “dunno.” He is assuming, not proving his claim.
In writing, one must employ credible citations or risk being challenged for plagiarism (stealing someone else’s ideas, work, etc.) which can destroy your hopes of ever being truly believable.
Would this be a credible citation: “Sally said, Johnnie said Jimmie took his laptop?” Nope, why look at the spelling of Jimmy. Small error, but a critical one, especially in court.
How about this one: Sally said Jimmy showed her his “new” laptop and she saw Johnnie’s name scratched on the bottom. Yes, you have witness and source point for verification.
The same principle holds true when writing example: “We have only just begun to fight.” With the quotation marks, we are claiming it as a direct quote, not an assumption. Now we need to show who or what we’re citing and where we got it.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 31, 1936, https://patriotpost.us/documents/284. This is a very simple format, college level formats are more detailed, but it gives you a path to the statement.
Learning to cite, or if you prefer, quote people, places or things in your life decreases a tendency to assume facts are true, rather than proving them because assuming makes an ASS of U and ME.
Assumptions are the tools of the trade for those wanting to control people. “You must believe me because I know everything.” But cannot prove anything but you must assume I do.
Everyday, I hear people demanding we make assumptions on matters because their information comes from polls, experts and people who know. What pools, what experts and what people, they rarely provide those details.
I think the most tragic and demoralizing display of assumption by propaganda came with the attack on the Covington Catholic High School student who simply stood and smiled at someone harassing him, and his fellow students. Allegedly, through the use of well edited video, propagandists manipulated the situation to make it appear that the student was the culprit in this incident. As a result, assumptions were made by many radical extremists that the high schools kids were at fault and threats were made against them. Thankfully, an unedited version of the incident showed that the high school students neither physically nor verbally assaulted anyone but, because the original edited video was shown by mainstream media without citation, it was assumed to be correct and the threats keep coming.
The result of these assumptions may affect innocent people for years to come. It could have been avoided, but no wanted to verify until it was too late.