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Remember research? The recollection isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The popularity of research peaked during the The Great Curiosity, an era in which people actually wanted to learn things, before knee-jerks and quick answers gained political and popular favor. The era of The Great Curiosity was followed by the era of Just Do It (which only Nike was astute enough to brand), in which knowledge succumbed to opinion; meaning was sublimated to dogma; understanding was replaced by aimless hyperkineticism; and progress was shelved when output triumphed over outcomes.

Do we have responsibility? Yes. Do we have authority? No. Just do it.

Like the addicted gambler who constantly returns to the poker game he knows is crooked because it’s the only game in town — we accept secondary, tertiary, and/or anecdotal research as a basis for our decision-making. If the stakes are low enough — or if we’re already convinced of the correctness of our parochial opinions — we don’t even bother with that:

Hey, Fido, do you like this?
Good boy. Neither do I.

We’re not big on tips around here. But we have a few suggestions to share on this topic:

  • We have at our disposal a virtually limitless source of information, comprising innumerable contributors from all over the world, accessible through one application, the proper noun for which has become a verb: Google. That source can be accessed here and here. (WARNING! BAD WORDS!) How about we use it?
  • If we don’t want to conduct broader Web searches, how about we at least consult Wikipedia?
  • If we haven’t conduct any research at all, can we stop pretending we have? No one believes it anyway

And one more little tidbit: We all love excuses. We all have responses at the ready for why we haven’t done something, why someone else should have done it, what we thought was supposed to happen, why our not having done it won’t make the slightest difference at all, or what we were doing while we weren’t doing what we were supposed to have been doing.

Put a sock in it.

We’re certainly capable of falling for almost anything en masse. But we’re not gullible enough (yet) to believe the dog ate your Google.