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comment by thewoodenaisle
thewoodenaisle  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ignorance is a mold that looks like a fire.

I don't agree with this analogy at all. You are characterizing ignorance as a substance that propagates under certain conditions while I see ignorance as an absence of something, that something being knowledge. The default state of a room is to be moldless, but ignorance is the default of humanity. One is born in this world ignorant of language, social norms, basic arithmetic, even the knowledge of walking. The only way to dispel ignorance is to pursue knowledge. But this quest is ultimately a futile one. The rate in which articles are being published in academic journals is greater than the rate in which one can consume them. Now, more than ever, it is impossible to know everything. But just because the quest is a futile quest doesn't mean that it is a meaningless one. I cannot articulate this feeling well, but I believe that the pursuit of knowledge should be done for its own sake.





_refugee_  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is the default state of a room to be moldless? (I have lived in more than one house whose primary "shower" bathroom did not have ventilation. Without that ventilation, either mold would grow, or a window had to be kept permanently open. In this metaphor, what could water/moisture represent - keeping in mind that water is of course essential for all life.)

Is the default state accurately described as a room - a construct?

I think that ignorance predates our modern standards of building.

Total, complete knowledge is a futile quest, but the lack of ignorance is an achievable thing - as your examples, I think, illustrate. We mostly all learn to walk, after all.

I would like to ask, since we seem to disagree and I would like to give you an opportunity to express what you feel which mk's anology doesn't, what you think would be an appropriate analogy for ignorance.

I would like to not believe that ignorance is our natural state because I would like to believe that we as humans are not born hating each other. The ignorance being addressed here is not, I think, just simple lack of education. I think what mk is indirectly referencing is honestly more learned laziness or encouraged perceptions of "inherent difference." But I would like to hear what you think.

thewoodenaisle  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I would like to ask, since we seem to disagree and I would like to give you an opportunity to express what you feel which mk's anology doesn't, what you think would be an appropriate analogy for ignorance.

Meh, just your typical boring "ignorance is a fog/darkness and knowledge is the light that shines through the fog/illuminates the darkness" analogy. I suppose I should credit mk for at least coming up with an original analogy.

    I would like to not believe that ignorance is our natural state because I would like to believe that we as humans are not born hating each other. The ignorance being addressed here is not, I think, just simple lack of education. I think what mk is indirectly referencing is honestly more learned laziness or encouraged perceptions of "inherent difference." But I would like to hear what you think.

I guess I don't know what to think if mk is indirectly referencing something that I'm not aware of, and I don't want to put words in his mouth.

lil  ·  2030 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Meh, just your typical boring "ignorance is a fog/darkness and knowledge is the light that shines through the fog/illuminates the darkness" analogy.
Providing the fog/darkness is willing to let the light in. I need a metaphor for ignorance in which the darkness is active not passive and light not as powerful as we wish it was.

mk's moldy ignorance that looks like fire has some of that quality.

_refugee_

tla  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No. Ignorance is a thing that is taught. People are taught to embrace ignorance. It is embraced when people are encouraged to give equal weight to fact and opinion. Ignorance spreads when people are subject to noxious falsehoods like racism to the point that they start to accept them and ignore reality.

What you're talking about is naivety. The state at which one is most susceptible to ignorance.

rob05c  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Ignorance is a thing that is taught. People are taught to embrace ignorance. It is embraced when people are encouraged to give equal weight to fact and opinion.

What you're describing is anti-intellectualism. Which is related, but distinct from ignorance itself.

tla  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The influence I described is Anti-intellectualism, sure. The result of which is ignorance itself.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You say that ignorance is as simply as lack of knowledge, then?

tla  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

More like false knowledge.

rob05c  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  
ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That definition does feature "lack of <..> learning", which might be the same as saying "living in a bubble". Do you agree with that?

thewoodenaisle  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't follow your definition of ignorance. There are plenty of things I am ignorant in: how to build a house, how to read War and Peace in the original Russian, how to integrate using anything other than a Riemann integral. The default state is for me to not know these things. Yes, I get why people would be mad if one were to be proud of not knowing what a Lebesgue integral is, but the celebration of ignorance is different from ignorance itself. In other words, ignorance is not bad per se; it's just a default state one would hopefully grow out of.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

tla's definition of ignorance is about living in a bubble. It's when you haven't read War and Peace in Russian (and French: let's be frank, the book is at least quarter foreign) and are proud of it, or don't care to read it despite being a self-professed bookie because it's so damn big and you don't want it and you have other things to do instead bla bla bla...

It's fine not to read it, I suppose, but if you enter an argument about Russian literature later on (or Tolstoy's literary works, even), you'll be out of your field; if you then presume that you ought to partake in the argument because you're you and because you want it (despite having little to know knowledge on the subject), you're partaking in willful ignorance, shielding yourself from the idea that you can't know everything and/or things that you ought to know about by now.

At least, that's how I understand what tla meant. Maybe that's what mk meant, too.

thewoodenaisle  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, I mean there is a difference between ignorance and anti-intellectualism. Sure, I can get behind anti-intellectualism being a form of cultural decay that will spread unless we do something about it. But anti-intellectualism isn't ignorance. And I don't think anti-intellectualism is exclusively prideful, willful, self-aware ignorance either. It's also a strange form of intellectual hubris, as if spending 5 minutes reading some shitty blog makes them an authority of X over an entire community of academics who have devoted their entire lives towards X.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Now we've got more definitions confused than we should. Let me quote Wikipedia:

    Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible.

How willful it is is a question that must be asked first towards similar beliefs, such as racism and misogyny: do people take on those, or do they imbibe them as their own from their surrounding? From the answer to that question stems the answer to whether it is, or can be, self-aware or prideful, and from those - whether it is ignorance (willful ignorance, in this case).

Whether it is, people still hold onto them without giving them a good critical look. That constitutes ignorance in my book.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you think there's some innate aspect to ignorance? We're born having no idea about the world, after all. Besides, many people grow comfortable with ignorance when the stress is growing - is it accepting the "lesson" the world "teaches" such people, or is it accepting the internal feeling of the pink bubble?

tla  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If babies had no idea about the world, they'd not cry for food, or comfort, or attention, or whatever the hell else babies get upset about. They get upset because their ideas are in conflict with what is reality.

Children are often taught to shy away from things which the parent doesn't want them to learn about. Think the kids who are forbidden from learning science. From learning factual things that make the actual world they live in. They are taught that they may substitute opinion for fact. That choosing to believe a fiction about something outranks fact about it. They have been influenced and trained by anti-intellectualism to live a ignorant existence and believe that they are the enlightened ones.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If babies had no idea about the world, they'd not cry

They don't cry because they think "Well, I'm hungry. Let's cry and see if anyone hears me! Maybe they'll bring me food, too". They follow their instincts; it's later in life do they learn that they can eat on their own if they know there's food around. You'd cry of pain if someone was to stab you in the leg, and it doesn't matter if you know or have shielded yourself from knowing who stabbed you or what did they stab you with. Instincts and reflexes have nothing to do with ignorance, other than the fact that we can learn to override them if we find out why it might be useful to us.

I agree with most of the second paragraph.