The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(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.

Are we becoming a nation of the gullible?

16 comments:

Argentum Vulgaris said...

100 mpg carb, I heard it was a water based engine...

Nice to see you over at my place Douglas, you had a good look around. I will always keep up my visits here, you make some interesting observations.

AV
http://netherregionoftheearthii.blogspot.com/
http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/

Sal said...

Some are gullible I agree, but most are perhaps too informed? Folks today, in these times of the internet and TV with live world coverage by satellite, and cellphones, have no need to miss a thing, are more educated than ever before, and are possibly in a better position to make selective judgements themselves? It's just my opinion, but there is vast evidence for a few of the things you mention, widely available for everyone to read on the internet.
:-)

Douglas said...

Ah yes.. "it must be true, I saw it on the internet" has replaced "it must be true, I read it in the newspaper." I just came across a site/blog that is dedicated to making us aware of the conspiracy, apparently over generations, to create a New World Order. It seems that only he, and a few other like-minded individuals, are fighting the good fight to preserve our liberty in the face of this massive conspiracy. Like I said, these people make me nervous because they seem to be growing in number and the internet is the means by which that growth is being stimulated. Uh oh, it sounds like I am talking about a conspiracy to foster conspiracies in order to create chaos and allow the NWO to take over. Is there no end to the fiendishness?

PhreedomPhan said...

After seeing this answer to sal, Douglas, I'm afraid I have to say you have no room to talk of ignorance.

Thirty years ago, while fighting against a so-called "Home Rule Charter" in my county, an associate and I stopped by his house to pick up some documents. When we walked into his basement I was stunned. Two forty-foot walls were lined with bookcases filled with books and documents. In the center was an island of back to back file cabinets filled to overflowing with documents, clippings, newsletters, and the like. In all, the man had more documented proof of a conspiracy or conspiracies than all I've seen on the Internet. He was not a conspiracy "theorist." He was a "watcher." He had spent most of his adult life gathering this information and much of it he'd inherited from a Philadelphia woman who'd done the same most of her adult life. Yet he never mentioned conspiracy. Why? Because, as he said, the majority of people have been conditioned to a knee jerk reaction to the word. They roll into a little ball and start hurling epithets like "kook" and "crackpot" at those who disturb the pleasant little world "education" and the media have created for them where power hungry men have never conspired to enslave their fellow man.

Maybe my blogs are the ones you are talking about. But I have some evidence that should at least start those with an ability to connect the dots thinking. There's a lot of info there so they'll also need an attention span greater than a gnats.

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/

The Logisitician said...

I have very mixed emotions about this subject. I'm all over the place in terms of the "wilfull" or "conscious" aspect. I really don't know.

I've been to some 3rd world countries where I have posed this question to myself. If I remember correctly, you were in the Navy, and you obviously saw all sorts of people from all works of life from all over the country.

There are a couple of recent experiences in my life which have made me less certain about this issue. Moving from a metropolitan area like Los Angeles, 2 blks from UCLA, and then returning home to North Carolina and teaching adult students seeking their GEDS at a local community college. Some of them have struggled for years.

Just three weeks ago, I attended a blogging, social networking, new media conference, and met some extremely bright people, only to consider how many kids in my town are so far behind the conference participants in ..... virtually every way.

I keep coming back to the concept of not being willing to learn. I know that you mean something other than the level of educational attainment. I just don't know how that is separated from ... and I'm obviously not contributing much to this conversation.

I will say this. I think that some narrow-minded people view the world they do because it gets them by. I call it "muddling through." Life is too complicated for them to process without being Neanderthal in nature, and their attitude makes the world more comprehensible. They can understand up and down, and left and right, but not oblique or skew. I think that we've seen that throughout history. In some ways, it is often safer for people not to venture beyond the realm of the known, and the realm of the beliefs held my the neighboring majority. Safety in numbers.

I actually think for many people, it is risky, and dangerous, to think outside of the box. I don't know. I'm not helping here.

One more thing. I have unending curiosity. I always have to know more. No information is off limits in my view. However, my Father often tells me that I know too much, and that some information is unnecessary and does the average person no good.

Sorry for occupying the space here. Just had to ramble.

MilesPerHour said...

I wrote a blog before the election about people voting for a candidate just because it was "their party" Republican/Democrat/other rather than knowing the individual running, so I can see what you're saying. However I think there are people on both sides, those who want to know and those who don't. Your blog definitely gave the readers something to think about.

EyeOnTrends said...

Interesting post and blog. Relevantly, many prominent experts and publications have pointed out that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and GenXers.
You may find this page interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser:
http://www.generationjones.com/2008election.html

Douglas said...

Fascinating. I had never heard that term "generation Jones". I always thought it odd that the Baby Boom generation was so broad. The truth is that each year is a new "generation" and each generation overlaps. One might group generations of 2-4 consecutive birth years together but then we'd run out of names for them pretty quickly. And those too would overlap with the ones previous and following. Why do we have to categorize everything?

The Logisitician said...

EyeOn Trends: Just took a look at the Generation Jones site. Interesting. I have a tendency to view things in "generational" as opposed to years of birth. For example, I finished high school in North Carolina in 1969. I considered my class to be the last of the conservative, traditional value classes. (I later learned, after living in California for 30 years, that things occurred there roughly 4 - 5 years ahead of this schedule.)

I considered the high school class of 1970 in my home state to be confused and in limbo in terms of values. By 1971, the value system of that graduating class had changed dramatically. I often tell the story of being a senior in high school, and being in the football team locker room, and seeing two sophomores pulling a bottle of wine or liquor out of the top of their locker and taking a swig.

I was totally shocked but said nothing. That would not have occurred, at least not openly, in years prior. I knew something had changed. Consequently, in thinking about our differences in years to come, I often said that there was an entire "generational divide" between the classes of 1969 and 1971.

gaf85 said...

The wonderful thing about Blogging is that we all have an interest in expressing our opinions regardless of what others might think. So congratulations on that. Also people need to develop a sense of humor. Recently I watched a documentary about the conspiracy theory that the first landing on the moon and spacewalk were faked. They did a very good job of debunking most of the theories which I found interesting but hey,you never really know.
I'll be back to visit your blog.

gaf85 said...

The wonderful thing about Blogging is that we all have an interest in expressing our opinions regardless of what others might think. So congratulations on that. Also people need to develop a sense of humor. Recently I watched a documentary about the conspiracy theory that the first landing on the moon and spacewalk were faked. They did a very good job of debunking most of the theories which I found interesting but hey,you never really know.
I'll be back to visit your blog.

The Logisitician said...

EyeOn Trends: Just took a look at the Generation Jones site. Interesting. I have a tendency to view things in "generational" as opposed to years of birth. For example, I finished high school in North Carolina in 1969. I considered my class to be the last of the conservative, traditional value classes. (I later learned, after living in California for 30 years, that things occurred there roughly 4 - 5 years ahead of this schedule.)

I considered the high school class of 1970 in my home state to be confused and in limbo in terms of values. By 1971, the value system of that graduating class had changed dramatically. I often tell the story of being a senior in high school, and being in the football team locker room, and seeing two sophomores pulling a bottle of wine or liquor out of the top of their locker and taking a swig.

I was totally shocked but said nothing. That would not have occurred, at least not openly, in years prior. I knew something had changed. Consequently, in thinking about our differences in years to come, I often said that there was an entire "generational divide" between the classes of 1969 and 1971.

The Logisitician said...

I have very mixed emotions about this subject. I'm all over the place in terms of the "wilfull" or "conscious" aspect. I really don't know.

I've been to some 3rd world countries where I have posed this question to myself. If I remember correctly, you were in the Navy, and you obviously saw all sorts of people from all works of life from all over the country.

There are a couple of recent experiences in my life which have made me less certain about this issue. Moving from a metropolitan area like Los Angeles, 2 blks from UCLA, and then returning home to North Carolina and teaching adult students seeking their GEDS at a local community college. Some of them have struggled for years.

Just three weeks ago, I attended a blogging, social networking, new media conference, and met some extremely bright people, only to consider how many kids in my town are so far behind the conference participants in ..... virtually every way.

I keep coming back to the concept of not being willing to learn. I know that you mean something other than the level of educational attainment. I just don't know how that is separated from ... and I'm obviously not contributing much to this conversation.

I will say this. I think that some narrow-minded people view the world they do because it gets them by. I call it "muddling through." Life is too complicated for them to process without being Neanderthal in nature, and their attitude makes the world more comprehensible. They can understand up and down, and left and right, but not oblique or skew. I think that we've seen that throughout history. In some ways, it is often safer for people not to venture beyond the realm of the known, and the realm of the beliefs held my the neighboring majority. Safety in numbers.

I actually think for many people, it is risky, and dangerous, to think outside of the box. I don't know. I'm not helping here.

One more thing. I have unending curiosity. I always have to know more. No information is off limits in my view. However, my Father often tells me that I know too much, and that some information is unnecessary and does the average person no good.

Sorry for occupying the space here. Just had to ramble.

PhreedomPhan said...

After seeing this answer to sal, Douglas, I'm afraid I have to say you have no room to talk of ignorance.

Thirty years ago, while fighting against a so-called "Home Rule Charter" in my county, an associate and I stopped by his house to pick up some documents. When we walked into his basement I was stunned. Two forty-foot walls were lined with bookcases filled with books and documents. In the center was an island of back to back file cabinets filled to overflowing with documents, clippings, newsletters, and the like. In all, the man had more documented proof of a conspiracy or conspiracies than all I've seen on the Internet. He was not a conspiracy "theorist." He was a "watcher." He had spent most of his adult life gathering this information and much of it he'd inherited from a Philadelphia woman who'd done the same most of her adult life. Yet he never mentioned conspiracy. Why? Because, as he said, the majority of people have been conditioned to a knee jerk reaction to the word. They roll into a little ball and start hurling epithets like "kook" and "crackpot" at those who disturb the pleasant little world "education" and the media have created for them where power hungry men have never conspired to enslave their fellow man.

Maybe my blogs are the ones you are talking about. But I have some evidence that should at least start those with an ability to connect the dots thinking. There's a lot of info there so they'll also need an attention span greater than a gnats.

Rick
http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com
http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com/

Sal said...

Some are gullible I agree, but most are perhaps too informed? Folks today, in these times of the internet and TV with live world coverage by satellite, and cellphones, have no need to miss a thing, are more educated than ever before, and are possibly in a better position to make selective judgements themselves? It's just my opinion, but there is vast evidence for a few of the things you mention, widely available for everyone to read on the internet.
:-)

EyeOnTrends said...

Interesting post and blog. Relevantly, many prominent experts and publications have pointed out that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and GenXers.
You may find this page interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser:
http://www.generationjones.com/2008election.html