How do you battle internet experts?
Of course, everyone knows you can be anything you want from behind the safety of your computer screen, and most folks realize that their antagonist is generally not going to do much of a deep dive to discover whether they are right, or who it is they are ‘arguing’ with.
I am late to the internet expert game. I didn’t get my first computer until 1994, and it was a steep curve to learn it. I was already a mature, home-owning adult with a full time job and obligations, so I tasked myself with learning all the necessary functions one must acquire before actually becoming an internet expert.
Things like how to search for information, and how to judge validity. The Dewey Decimal System is still with us in some form, but gone are the days where you actually had to… you know… do your own research.
The internet changed all that, and gave birth to a new generation of ‘expert’ who believes that any return of inquiries ‘above the fold’ on Google is all the information they need to make a valid argument.
The problem is, they never check their sources.
Thank you, Dewey Decimal System, for teaching me how to research.
I spend a lot of time researching and writing. Hours a day, in fact. I have been at it since 5:41 am this morning, and it is already 11:42 am.
Yesterday, I logged 14 hours. The day before, over 16. That was a tough day. My butt hurts. So does my left shoulder, since I lean on the left arm of my chair, resting the full weight of my upper body on a joint that has experienced surgery about 20 years ago, and absolutely needs another. I need to start leaning more to the other side. I am an equal opportunity self-abuser, after all.
My right shoulder has also experienced surgery. Even longer ago than the left..
But none of these things are my point today. During the few brief interludes between having to endure the inconvenience of the byproduct of too much coffee drinking and giving my fingers (and my ample ass) a break from all the sitting, I peruse the interwaves in pursuit of enlightenment. I travel to my usual social media haunts, answer a couple of questions, queries and quips before reality snaps me back to work.
What entertainment I seek, I did not find, but I did come away with a few tidbits that made me wonder about what constitutes reliable information today. The Blue Page is filled with internet experts. I am surprised their data storage can sustain the weight of all that internet ego.
Of course, nothing makes me more excited than an exchange of words with an internet expert who chose the wrong time to ‘school’ me with undoubtedly what they considered to be superior knowledge.
So as all mature, intelligent folk do, I did some research. First on their ‘profile’, as one does when being assaulted with such superior firepower… I mean, one needs to know their enemy to better understand them, considering their volley to display their supremacy and further, to find the reason they chose that hill to die on.
Dog breeds that trainers are reluctant to work with.
I mentioned the three breeds that are off the table for me by commonly used identifiers; the first being “a Kangal from Afghanistan” (brought home by three Marines that had been stationed there and befriended the dog. They mustered the money and the clearances to have this dog shipped home. This was in 2016). The second, a ‘Thai Ridgeback’, and the third, an ‘Ovcharka’.
The point of contention:
A Kangal that came from Afghanistan.
The opposition’s point:
“Kangals are from Türkiye!”
Kangals are a landrace. The AKC made them a breed. Türkiye and Afghanistan are global ‘neighbors’ and I am fairly certain that these two countries’ trade routes and commerce included livestock as well as the dogs that guard them. And all I had to do was go to the breed club’s page to confirm my statement.
For someone ‘fluent in the breed’, I found no evidence that this individual had much in the way of fluency with any dog, let alone in a type of dog so rare that there are no accurate numbers of them in the US or elsewhere, including their native country.
Any registry is recent and immediately suspect, because they do not represent the whole population, only the part of it that some folks determined should be cataloged.
Had this individual gone looking before commenting, they would have never bothered to comment. But Dunning Kruger tends to infect the young, and so it goes.
It says, right there…above the fold, even.
if you open the link to the national breed club, there is an exceptional definition of what constitutes a landrace, and how a landrace becomes a breed.
Old white people make dogs breeds. It satisfies some deep desire to govern the ‘purity’ of living things when they cannot govern themselves.
The Middle East and Asia are responsible for many of the livestock guardian breeds. The Afghan ‘Kuchi’, the Turkish ‘Gampr’, the ‘Sarabi’ from Iran, Pakistan’s ‘Bully Kutta’… dozens and dozens from a land mass of 3.82 million square miles, peopled by over 411 million souls, who settled there over 5500 years ago. I think there may have been some hanky panky, even if it wasn’t planned. If you look at all of the Middle Eastern and Asian landraces, there’s a certain… similarity… not just in size, but physique, color, head shape, etc.
I think that suits as an explanation of why it is possible that a Kangal can end up in some province of Afghanistan, and ended up with three soldiers that thought he needed a passport to Baltimore to live out the remainder of his days.
And that, my friends, is a tale for another time.