Have you ever noticed that the less certain the facts, the louder the argument?
This is because, as stated by a great philosopher - possibly Calvin, or maybe his stuffed tiger, Hobbes - ''Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about.''
Facts are pesky critters that clutter up a good hashing out. The political campaigns that clogged the better part of the last two years demonstrated that. I'm still scraping lingering noodles of nincompoopness from my noggin.
It's nothing new. Mark Twain talked about it from his time as a newspaper reporter covering Congress more than 100 years ago: ''I had never seen a body of men with tongues so handy and information so uncertain. They could talk for a week without getting rid of an idea.''
Empty-headedness leaves a guy unimpeded by truth, logic or reality. History is littered with failures who succeeded because they were too stupid to quit.
According to legend, young writer Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.''
F.W. Woolworth, the guy behind one of the biggest department store chains of last century, first worked at a dry goods store, where his boss wouldn't let him wait on customers because ''he lacked the sense needed to do so.''
Thomas Edison, whose teachers labeled him ''too stupid to learn anything,'' famously made 1,000 flubs at inventing the light bulb before finding one way that worked.
Hearing stories like these as a kid convinced me that if I kept my mind free of any actual knowledge, I could do anything. I set out to know nothing and get better at it every passing year.
I was only 4 or 5 years old when it occurred to me that the reason we can't fly is because grownups told us we can't. It would take a stupid person to prove otherwise.
I dug out my blanket with the ripped border, which allowed me to drop it over my head like a cape. Ignorance is one thing, but it would be plain silly to attempt flight without a cape. All the high-fliers from Underdog to Superman wore capes.
I was a bit troubled that Batman, the Caped Crusader, didn't fly. But Batman was a grownup, after all. I pushed the trickle of doubt from my mind.
I took a kitchen chair, slid it near the brick wall enclosing our front porch, backed way up, checked my cape, then took off running. I hit the chair in a single bound, leaped to the top of the porch wall, and soared high into space.
And looked down.
A stray gob of knowledge whooshed into my mind, leaked out my ears and flattened my cape. With ignorance lost, flight ended abruptly on the yard far, far below.
But the point remains, had I been totally ignorant of the laws of gravity, my Underdog cape would have soared me high over the tree tops that day, of that I am positive.
I have no scientific facts on which to base that statement, which leaves me free to argue that viewpoint with you until the cows come home. In fact, I've been so successful at emptying the caverns of my brain of anything but cobwebs that I don't even know where the cows went. Jumped over the moon, I believe.
Ignorance truly is bliss.
----- Trade ignorance with Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.