Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Where's my tinfoil?
Ignorance seems rampant these days. Some willful, some out of apathy, some due to misdirection. Hmmm, maybe the reasons are all the same: willful. After all, apathy is a choice and misdirection is only possible if one allows it to happen.
Let me explain, ignorance is not simply not knowing something, it is being unwilling to learn. The root word is "ignore", a verb meaning "to refuse to pay attention to; disregard." Therefore, in my opinion, ignorance is always willful.
It is rampant today because people seem to want not to know. They are willing to accept what they are told, or read, because it is easier than doing any research on their own. We, in general, have become all too willing to let someone else tell us what and how to think.
Now, do not confuse ignorance with stupidity. One has nothing to do with the other. Stupidity is unchangeable, ignorance can be cured. We often confuse the two, though. I know, and have known, a number of people I consider fairly intelligent yet I also consider them ignorant. Not about everything, of course, just on selected subjects. I am probably ignorant about a number of subjects also. It's a fairly common condition. I choose not to learn about them or choose to only examine them superficially.
What I am writing about, though, is not the ignorance of a random subject but a general ignorance born of complacency. We are tired at the end of the day so we turn on the news and let the anchorman (or woman) influence how we feel about the current issues we face. We let the pundits explain what the politicians meant in their speeches or press conferences and accept it. We agree with our co-workers opinions because they seem to match the consensus and we all just want to get along. We agree with our spouses because... well, maybe that's just the wise thing to do, let's skip that one.
I know people who believe in fairly bizarre conspiracies. I know others who believe the auto industry, in cahoots with the oil companies, bought a 100 MPG carburetor from an inventor and hid the plans, swearing the inventor to secrecy. I know people who believe in UFO abductions, ghosts, and that the government is hiding a cure for cancer. These people are not dangerous. They are generally just amusing.
But what about the countless number of people who believe that the government, our government, was behind the 9/11 attacks? Or the ones who think Obama is really a Muslim or was not born in the US? The number of people who believe such things seem to be growing and that frightens me.