Douglas Adams on Being Wrong

This came to me on Facebook. My thanks to whoever posted it, and my apologies for not remembering who it was or thinking to take note when I saved the clipping. Shame on you, Facebook, for making it so damned hard to find stuff that you once glimpsed but now remember you really want to see again (and for making it so easy to see the same junk over and over again).

I think it’s fitting to refer to Douglas Adams with a story about being wrong. When I read “Hitchhiker’s Guide” long ago, I remember being captivated by Adams’ whimsical, conversational writing style, and the way he was able to make completely “out of this world” characters and concepts seem not only believable, but mundane. Come to think of it, he also made the mundane, extraordinary. And if you don’t know what I mean because you haven’t read the book, then you truly don’t yet know where your towel is. Trust me.

Anyway, here’s the clip. You read it, then I’ll tell you why it thought it worth clipping. You can read my comments, or not. Come to think of it, you can read the clip, or not. But then, you’ve already read this far, so you might as well…

I guess what struck me here is something similar to what struck me the first time I saw Kathryn Schulz’s TED talk “On being wrong.” At one point she led the audience through an exercise that makes it clear that being wrong about something always feels exactly like being right.

So I ask myself… what story do I tell repeatedly for which I might just be missing the punchline?