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Saturday, January 31, 2015


A cranky opinion for


The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with very little knowledge on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome.  They are welcome but will probably be ignored.  As always, please no name calling.  That means you, you big stupid head!

My father was a recreational pilot.  He flew a single engine plane.  He learned to fly in the thirties, only thirty years after the Wright Brothers.  He told me a story about early pilots.

When an airplane climbs higher and higher it eventually reaches a point where it loses speed and can climb no more.  It goes into what is called a stall.  If the plane does not use more power to gain speed, the stall turns into a tail first spin and the plane crashes. 

In the early days of aviation when a pilot went into a stall his natural instincts were to pull back on the stick to keep the nose pointed in the direction he wanted to go.  That did not work so well, and at the time going into a stall was considered irreversible and a crash was unavoidable. Many pilots were killed because they went into a stall. 

Finally one pilot (probably several pilots independently) decided that the way out of a stall was to push the nose down allowing the plane to gain speed and then pull the nose level and fly out of the stall.

Other pilots said he was crazy, that a stall was irreversible and a crash was unavoidable.  The daredevil pilot did not listen; he flew and intentionally put his plane in a stall, pushed the nose down, gained speed and was able to level the plane out.  Soon all pilots learned that the way out of a stall is to do exactly the opposite of what your instinct told you to do.

How many other things in life are there where doing the opposite of what your instinct tells you do is the correct thing to do?

The earth is flat.  Early scientist’s instincts were wrong.  Bleed the bad blood out of the sick.  Early doctor’s instincts were wrong.

If threatened by a dog or wild animal, running away is what your instincts tell you to do.  Your instincts are sometimes wrong.

Caught swimming in an undertow your instincts tell you to swim directly to shore.  Your instincts are wrong.

In golf, the more you aim to adjust for a slice; the greater you ball will slice.  Your instinct is wrong.

The slower the pitch in baseball, the easier it is to hit.  Sometimes, but often your instinct is wrong.

When your wheels spin on ice your instinct is to step on the gas.  Your instinct is wrong.

Are you overweight and want to lose fat?  Your instinct is to eat a fat free diet; current research by prominent scientists, suggest that your instincts are probably wrong.

Doing what comes unnaturally is why skepticism is sometimes not a bad thing.  We need people to doubt, we need people to question.

Usually the skeptic is proven wrong.  Sometimes he is not.
Burn stuff and the Earth gets warmer…Seems to make sense.

More police, stricter enforcement has to lower crime rates…Couldn’t hurt.

Raise the minimum wage and raise middle class standard of living…Of course.

Eliminate poverty by handing out food and money…Worth a try.

When the rich get richer, the money will trickle down to everyone…It could happen.

Raise taxes to increase revenue…Makes sense.

Cut waste in government to balance the budget…Has to work…right?

Genetically altered food can increase productivity and help feed the world...How could that be bad?

Alcohol is bad; make it illegal…Problem solved.

The value of some ideas change with a moving target of economic and social conditions.  We need to be open to adjusting "status quo" positions.

Often what seems obvious, what instinct tells you to do, is exactly what you should not do.  In generally the old saw to “trust your instincts” is a good one, but if following your instincts, following the obvious, does not seem to be working, perhaps it is time to consider putting the nose down to get out of a stall.

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.


  1. Very interesting. Some of these are things I've never thought about, but you're right. Sometimes the most obvious solution is the WRONG solution.

  2. Well, instincts are good at times but often they are wrong. Great analogy here.

    Have a fabulous weekend Cranky. ☺

  3. lots of thought provoking poking today.

    and sometimes student pilots practice stalls around here. makes me nervous as heck to listen to them stall and restart. eek!

  4. My instinct is to ignore everything you've suggested, but a lot of this stuff SHOULD work!!

  5. Thinking outside the box, or the stall, as the case may be.

  6. Good one, Joeh! Sometimes we do have to think more and react less - surely there are ways out of some of the nose dives we find ourselves in. But, status quo and knee jerk seem so much easier...

  7. Now, how am I supposed to keep straight the ones that you follow and the ones that you don't? In my head confusion now reigns!;-)

  8. This reminds me that part of the test my dad took to become a private pilot involved the instructor turning off the engine mid-flight to see what my dad would do. Dad must have passed because he lived to get his pilot's license.

    As for the urge to do the wrong thing, this happens every time I get a mosquito bite. I want to scratch lie crazy but that only makes it worse.

  9. Turning into the skid was hard for a Floridian who never saw snow to master.

  10. Wow that was one brave-ass daredevil pilot. Saved thousands of future lives most likely...

  11. Sometimes instinct is the very wrong thing, i agree. A lot of bad things come out of people who start with good intentions who are following their instincts.

  12. My instinct is not to comment right away and to think about this post for awhile. So I didn't obey my instinct. Now what?

  13. Ok, well one thing....not a refutation, just a possible explanation for one of your examples.....
    Blood a semi-expert, I'm making a guess how it become so was used for many decades.
    This 'doctor' had a patient come in with shortness of breath, probably other symptoms...wheezing, maybe coughing, etc. He nicks a vein, notices after about a pint has drained that the patient is much better, not short of breath, etc. The guy had congestive heart failure, and currently would be treated with diuretics...but draining off a pint or so will work.
    This worked, the 'doc' figured it work for other things.....and had success every once in awhile.
    possible explanation, eh?

    1. That is interesting, I had always heard the doctors just thought they were draining out poison from the blood, I did not know there may have been was an actual practical basis for the practice.

  14. I still don't know whether to starve a fever, or feed it.

  15. I wouldn't be writing today had I listened to people who "know about writing."
    I LOVED this post.

  16. I don't care what you say about being threatened by a wild animal...if I come across a bear, I'm running like hell.

  17. @Val; feed a cold, starve a fever.
    Eliminate poverty by education and job opportunities. Handing out food and money only teaches people to expect something for nothing.

    "When the rich get richer, the money will trickle down to everyone", in their family maybe, not everyone else.

  18. I liked the points you made. Can't tell you how many times I put the brakes on when sliding around on ice....that to me seemed like the logical thing to do......


  19. Truth should be stable...but sometimes it is a moving target.