Arbitration

As kids, my brother and I would get into disagreements over our understanding of some facts. We would explain over and over trying to persuade the other we were correct.

Mom bought some World Book encyclopedias. (Later, she would add Encyclopedia Britannica complete entries that become obvious why later.) They became our arbitrator. What they said settled many a dispute over what something was.

Often we both had some correct elements in our understanding. So the encyclopedia entry connected the two sides. Or we both were wrong.

One or the other was right enough to encourage us to continue consulting it. To continue trusting in it. To be willing to pause when Mom ordered us to stop the loud talking until we could check.

I think my introspection and need to fact check myself mentioned in Savage Little Students comes from this.