Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Yes, you can be boastful AND intellectually humble

Some people scoff at the idea that intellectual humility is a cornerstone of the BIG Media Ltd. business model.

They see me aggressively marketing, making bold claims about the accuracy and integrity of a relatively new player in the news media game, and they wonder how such a serial self-promoter could possibly claim that his organization is practising intellectual humility.

However, pride, promotion, and intellectual humility are not mutually exclusive.

Wikipedia defines intellectual humility as “the acceptance that one’s beliefs and opinions could be wrong.”

Now, many find my strong opinions on COVID-19, for example, to be obnoxious. Anything but humble.

But I contend that I arrived at my convictions by practising intellectual humility.

I accept that my opinions could be wrong, and I actively encourage readers to challenge what I and the rest of the BIG Media Ltd. team say in our news and opinion columns.

One of the first articles published at in 2021 focused on the history of vaccines. We celebrated immunization success stories involving polio and smallpox.

We were all hoping that scientists would come up with a vaccine for COVID-19 that would be safe and would prevent transmission of that nasty virus that originated in Wuhan, China.

But they did not. And when I found out that healthy children were having severe reactions to a vaccine for a virus that was not a significant threat to children, you better believe I became opinionated.

I continue to monitor scientific studies and important data, and I continue to ask BIG Media’s team of scientists to analyse critical data and to summarize it logically. I still have seen nothing to suggest that healthy humans should ever expose themselves to the risks of taking the COVID vaccines.

I am also very opinionated about mandated lockdowns. BIG Media chief scientific strategist Laurie Weston’s work revealing disturbing facts and data helped form my perspectives: Analysis of excess deaths in 2020 reveals surprising deviations, Detailed analysis of 2021 death data reveals disturbing trends.

I also encourage readers to challenge our coverage of climate change, energy transition, and any other matter.

I did not even have an opinion on sea level rise until I read some garbage written by self-proclaimed environmentalists predicting devastating global flooding from rapidly rising seas. I simply asked one of the smartest people I know in matters of land and water to provide a fact-focused article on the topic – “Sea level is rising; should we be worried”.

When energy transition and energy security became hot topics, I knew that my areas of expertise (playing beach volleyball and being a parent … and I struggle regularly in both categories) did not qualify me to write about such important subjects. So, I asked doctor of geology and high-integrity educator Brad Hayes to provide readers with intelligent commentary. Search “energy transition” on this site, and you will see many educational, factual articles from Brad.

Because I work with intelligent, ethical, detail-oriented contributors such as entrepreneur/geoscientists Laurie Weston, Brad Hayes, and Brian Russell, geoscientist/novelist Lee Hunt, engineer/lawyer Kevin Burron, and epidemiologist Dr. David Vickers, and because we cite all of our data and stick to the most reliable sources – you should not expect to see a lot of mistakes on our news site.

But I will continue to encourage scrutiny. In fact, I wish all news media organizations were held to account regarding the veracity of their reporting.

My common refrain is “If you find any mistake in any of our articles, I will thank you, correct it, and announce publicly that we blew it.”

So, please, scrutinize our work. We are all ears. **

Back to humility, I believe we would be doing a great disservice to the news industry if we quietly went about our business without helping people understand the difference between good journalism and the standard trash with which most people in the developed world are familiar.

I will continue to make bold claims – you could call it bragging – about the amazing work produced by my team of accomplished professionals who just happen to be exceptional journalists … and I will continue to be intellectually humble.

It is an effective way to avoid humiliating oneself when speaking about important topics, as so many seemingly intelligent people have done over the last few years.

** I just fact-checked that, and we are actually mostly brains 😎

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.

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