Columnists, that's what we all are on EC are supposedly called . A column, as chosen by Expertscolumn, reeks of opinions in the sense in which journalism breeds "jounalesce," a particular kind of style dished out on newspaper editorials. But up to a point, I guess.
As the site will suggest, and as all prouncements go, like updated newsletters and announcements, that remind one and all, any writers poised on expounding about facts that they want to write about, they are not only opinion writers but also researchers who want to share knowledge.
Knowing the risks of writing about facts other than my own, I steer clear of how-to topics on health, for instance, which runs the real risk of articles heading into oblivion, without sources cited. And that is why, to be on the safe side, I write what I feel or think from experience including, of course, knowledge gained from my education.
But let us differentiate between knowledge gained in the past and the immediate present.
"The world is round" during the time of Galileo, as he saw it and said it, invited the ire and their excommunication of him from the Roman Church who had maintained that "the world was flat." That was not common knowledge...yet.
And, relevantly, how about the definition of "sin" by the Catholic Church in the past as opposed to modern age with reference likewise to their dogmas and doctrines, much less ignorance of the facts?
Not long ago, it was a sin to eat meat on Good Fridays per their dogmas passed down from the ancient times. Today, it is no longer a sin to eat meat, among other things, on Good Friday because not only the faithful ignored that tradition but because not only the Church caved in to their wrong precerpts about Lent they themselves invented but even acknowldged their priesthood committing adultery and pedophilia worse than they have enforced a wrong dogma on organised religion through the centuries.
In the modern world, with most everyone, or netizens, in the world wide web hooked to the treasure trove of accumulated and thereby becoming knowledge very much common accessible to every one, most of all writers, it might seem an insult to the intelligence of individuals, come to think of it, if they were to be required to cite sources otherwise already shared with mankind.
Citing sources, I think, when a writer writes an article, should apply ONLY to NEW DISCOVERIES, shared by unselfish scientists, facts hitherto still very much unknown to the world.
Many medical riddles, to be sure, have yet to be unravelled like what are the cures for cancer, or Azheimers or Parkinson's diseases, whose final scientific resolutions are not yet final. In that case, the source as to who is proposing or presenting a possible cures should, by all means, cited.
Who invented the internet is a question I cannot answer because I don't yet but that is common knowledge already as Google has it at the click of the mouse. No need to have any intellectual property nor password transgressed to get to where everybody can access the information.
Castigate me if I am wrong for writing about topics or subjects we all know about. In the end, it is the writers to blame who write about common knowledge as though they find their readers sooooo ignorant as to allow the Administrators to step in to compel them to cite sources, or delete their articles altogether.
Bottom line is, let's be unique.
October 14, 2012
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