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Healthy Skepticism: A Survival Trait

April 24, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin


In some other posts we’ve discussed good survivor traits such as compassion, adaptability and your ability to perceive risk. Today I’d like to talk about a trait we call ‘healthy skepticism’.

According to the dictionary, the definition of skepticism is: an attitude of doubt or the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain.

Having an attitude of doubt is a good trait to have as a survivor. If something doesn’t seem ‘right’ to you, your ‘doubt’ will make you question what’s going on. We call the skepticism ‘healthy’ because even though you may be doubting something, once you question things, you may discover different ‘truths’, allowing you to make better and logical decisions. If your skepticism trait isn’t healthy, you could be entering ‘paranoia’. That would be going a bit too far..

Everyone should be a good skeptic. Never assume that what you hear from ‘authority’ sources like the news media, big corporate, or the government, is always true. Do your own further research, then make a decision. Don’t assume that you’re getting what you think you’re getting. Here’s a great example.

Last night when we were watching FOX news, they reported on something that absolutely got me mad! Apparently there is a pretty high percentage of ‘seafood fraud’ going on in America to take advantage of common consumers.

Actual DNA tests were done in 74 restaurants. The widespread fraud was found to be 55% in Los Angeles and 48% in Boston. What is the fraud, you might ask? One species of fish (a cheaper species) is being substituted for a more expensive fish. So, they are charging consumers for the more expensive fish and giving them the inexpensive fish! Some of these restaurants and grocery stores may not even realize the problem. Even being highly educated on different species of fish, you might not be able to tell the difference between two fillets just by looking at them. The DNA testing has proven that there is a legitimate problem.

In the restaurants, sushi bars and grocery stores that were sampled, 50% of the seafood that was sampled was not the seafood it was labeled to be per the DNA testing results. In the FOX news video, side by side examples of some fish fillets were shown. The examples looked very similar. How would the uneducated consumer know if they got what they were paying for? Side by side an inexpensive tilapia fillet looks a lot like a snapper fillet. An Asian catfish fillet looks like Dover Sole. And steel-head trout looks like salmon. A flounder filet looks like a Halibut filet. Are you getting what you’re paying for?

The report indicated that this seafood fraud doesn’t start with the fisherman, but that somewhere in the processing, distribution, or end market, someone is seeing the profit.

I’m sure there are many more areas where we the consumer are getting ripped off because we assume that what we are being told is true. Let’s all remember what happens when we ‘assume’. Keep a healthy skepticism. Ask questions. Don’t assume. Be vigilant. Don’t be Sheeple. Think for yourself. It’s part of modern survival.

During times of universal deceit, truth becomes a revolutionary act.
–George Orwell


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