Monday, March 26, 2012

Fact vs. Opinion

A lot of people don't know this (or maybe more than I think), but I'm a bit of a comic book aficionado ("geek"). As such, I am very much looking forward to seeing The Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers.

I also peruse various movie and comic book forums, to pick up on updates, new pictures, sneak peeks, etc. As a result, I read a number of the postings that come up in response to these various items - and one of the things that has jumped out at me are that a lot of people (usually the zealots) have a great deal of trouble telling the difference between fact and opinion.

A fact is something that is quantifiable, provable and can be verified - an opinion is a subjective belief which may or may not be supported by fact. So, as an example from my blog last week: Everyone should stay in shape (opinion) or they run a much higher risk of being the first to fall in the zombie apocalypse (fact). Or, as another example - there are some changes in the upcoming Spiderman movie to his costume (fact) that should not have happened (opinion).

I should also add that the popularity of an opinion in no way makes it more factual...

Fact and opinion are often very intertwined, and it yes, it is important that we, as readers, show the ability to disseminate what we read and recognize the difference. However, what takes it to the next level and allows us a better opportunity to learn is being able to acknowledge that difference in our own writing - which will keep our minds open enough to actually listen to someone when they voice another opinion. Yes, we might not agree - but recognizing when our subjective interpretation is being questioned (rather than a fact) may make us less likely to blindly dismiss the other person's thoughts.

Oh, and for what it's worth - I hate the boots on the new Spiderman costume but couldn't care less about the yellow eyes (check out the trailer here). Other than that, the movie looks downright sick - but that's just my opinion. :)


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