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Getting ones dander or hackles up in response to some statement or bit of information is an involuntary reaction. We haven't any control over it.

Recently chatting with a friend who was telling me a form of meat he likes "had no calories" got my dander up. My engineering nerd brain just fired off an immediate challenge.

"Not true," I flatly stated. Calories are a measure of energy and pretty much anything you eat or drink (other than maybe water) has calories. If it didn't have calories you wouldn't derive any energy from it.

That challenge to his worldview got my friend's hackles up. And the arguments flew.

It wasn't until a calmer person in the crowd gently pointed out that perhaps my friend might have been meaning to say "had no fat". Which, of course, is what he really meant.

When my daily reading turns to our forums I see evidence of rising dander for the very same reasons. One statement is made and a bunch of folks jump in feet first.

Like me, their involuntary light switch flicks on when a piece of the puzzle doesn't fit.

I think we could all benefit if there were a way to slow down just a smidge. Might make for a friendlier online meeting place.

Which, in the end, is what we're all searching for.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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