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Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 10.21.14

RICK BLUE

In praise of anecdotal evidence

MONTREAL | As we enter our brave new world of secular science, there is one thing that bothers me. It is not the loss of the spiritual, or the dismissal of magic that can take away all our poetic wonder. It is the minimization of our individual experience. Or, as it is often referred to in a derogatory manner, "anecdotal evidence."

Anecdotal evidence used to be all you were really sure of. It was a series of things that happened to you and the lessons they taught you about reality. They were precious. They were the very fabric of your life.

But now you are expected to doubt your own experience because there are experts who have applied the scientific method and made studies that statistically prove something or other. And if your experience has contradicted these studies then you, my friend, are labouring under the illusion of "anecdotal evidence."

The very phrase comes from a scientific bias. It is called anecdotal evidence because it represents such a small sample that it is not statistically valid.

Anecdotal evidence can be as silly as seeing a spaceship or a Sasquatch. So we are right to be skeptical about some of it. But it can also be a mystical experience of the divine in all things. These moments used to be referred to as the very peak of cosmic consciousness.

Anecdotal evidence is what artists are supposed to express, their own experience of being human at a time and a place.

But our materialism brings us all down into a dull world in which only things that can be measured by science and proven by statistics can be accepted as real.

And even our physical experience in the material world can be dismissed if it does not fit the current accepted and socially approved narrative.

But as the notorious psychiatrist R.D. Laing wrote about back when I was in university, this denial of our own experience by forcing us to accept a construct of reality in which we might not ever experience creates in us a divided personality -- a kind of madness.

Especially when your own anecdotal evidence contradicts the established norm.

So who are you going to believe? Those-who-know-better or your own eyes?

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue blog on West Island Gazette
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