People get just as territorial over their mental maps as they do over their possessions, homes or status. Some of the strongest, angry opinions I have ever heard have been on subjects like politics or religion where the actual amount of personal information is miniscule. Religions are unnecessary for people who have looked into the face of god. When you don't know what information was given, you can't accurately judge decisions that arose from the information. (check out Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb for an interesting, tiny insight: almost never have the people in the moment accurately judged what would prove important. The great world-shaking stories of previous centuries are forgotten while what clearly was important with a few decades of perspective was often unnoticed at the time).
This is so common that I've come to expect it.
Yesterday I was very pleasantly surprised. Steve Perry knows a lot. Writing, of course. Martial arts. Local politics. Surveillance. Guns. The SF community. Music. Medicine. Pretty much everything except for hot tub repair... He goes on the short list of people who would be handy to have around if civilization collapsed. And... humble is the wrong word and I'm pretty sure he would laugh if I wrote it. He makes a clear distinction between his facts and his opinions; between his data points and the conclusions he has drawn. Steve can point out the difference even in himself, and that's a rare trait.
Not to imply that his opinions were wrong- his extrapolations are very careful and his insights draw from a long list of diverse experience. And he likes being challenged, another very rare and precious trait.
He also will keep me on my toes about precise language usage. Wish I'd known him before the book went to the publisher.
It was the first really good day in some time. Thanks, old man.