a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by thewoodenaisle
thewoodenaisle  ·  1908 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ignorance is a mold that looks like a fire.

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  ·  1908 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  ·  1908 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  ·  1908 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.