People who are intentionally ignorant

edited October 2010 in Religion & Philosophy
This blog writer makes a few good points about folks who are intentionally ignorant in this era of unprecedented access to information:

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/10/deliberately-uninformed-relentlessly-so.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+typepad/sethsmainblog+(Seth's+Blog)
Access to knowledge, for the first time in history, is largely unimpeded for the middle class. Without effort or expense, it's possible to become informed if you choose. For less than your cable TV bill, you can buy and read an important book every week. Share the buying with six friends and it costs far less than coffee.
What say you?

What are you reading right now?
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Comments

  • He talks about unprecedented access to information, and he's referring to... books? Did we go back in time to 1439?
  • said:

    He talks about unprecedented access to information, and he's referring to... books? Did we go back in time to 1439?

    Like it or not, books are still the primary means of disseminating information. Electronic media is up and coming, and making a dent, especially with journals on-line, but publishing is alive and well!

    So, how many books have you read lately, or are you part of the intentional uninformed?

    Oh, I thought of you last night while I was working on a dissertation (those pesky written documents...). Check out the Law of Primacy in education. Your oft-stated worldview fits the bill remarkably and you haven't always taken the time to fact check the stuff that you learned early on in your schooling. Not picking on you, just an observation based on seeing your post contents over the past several years.
  • said:

    Oh, I thought of you last night while I was working on a dissertation (those pesky written documents...). Check out the Law of Primacy in education. Your oft-stated worldview fits the bill remarkably and you haven't always taken the time to fact check the stuff that you learned early on in your schooling. Not picking on you, just an observation based on seeing your post contents over the past several years.

    Now that's funny, because I'm often told I change my positions too much.

    Haven't read a hardcopy book in years.
  • said:

    said:

    Oh, I thought of you last night while I was working on a dissertation (those pesky written documents...). Check out the Law of Primacy in education. Your oft-stated worldview fits the bill remarkably and you haven't always taken the time to fact check the stuff that you learned early on in your schooling. Not picking on you, just an observation based on seeing your post contents over the past several years.

    Now that's funny, because I'm often told I change my positions too much.

    Haven't read a hardcopy book in years.
    It shows... :cool:

    But, what do you read? What is the source of what you bring to the table in these discussions? How reliable, reviewed, researched, or accurate? The question is not posed to just you. I get to answer as well!
  • That article was too long for me to read
  • said:

    It shows... :cool:

    But, what do you read? What is the source of what you bring to the table in these discussions? How reliable, reviewed, researched, or accurate? The question is not posed to just you. I get to answer as well!

    I mostly read news, a lot of it. Reliability and accuracy depends on the source and the journalist. The source of what I bring to the table is my opinion on any given subject, regardless of my familiarity with it. I don't care what I bring to the table. I don't post on NPB to educate anyone or change anybody's mind, and I make no pretension of being a credible source of any information. I don't expect my posts to be cited in academia. I'm here solely for my own entertainment.
  • said:

    That article was too long for me to read

    What article?
  • said:

    I'm here solely for my own entertainment.

    Don't sell yourself short. You are here for our entertainment as well.
  • said:

    said:

    I'm here solely for my own entertainment.

    Don't sell yourself short. You are here for our entertainment as well.
    Collateral damage.
  • Everyone is willfully ignorant, it's unpossible to be anything but. The article writer is willfully ignorant of who won American Idol. I won't hold that against him...

    And his final quote -
    "As for the deliberately uninformed, we can ignore them or we can reach out to them and hopefully start a pattern of people thinking for themselves..."
    Those are two completely seperate issues and seem to refute his main point. Are people willfully ignorant or are they not thinking for themselves?

    I like to read but there are things I like to read and things I don't. I won't be picking up Pelosi's book (i assume she has one) anytime soon.
  • I think the gist of the article was to point out the fact that people have stopped learning on purpose.

    They grab a few fast facts (if it is on the web it has to be true) then run with them instead of applying themselves to learn of this world, history, economics, politics, etc.

    We "like" this or that (thanks axe) and comment on it, argue about it, etc., but have no real basis for what we hold as true except that the community we run with all feels the same way (or argues with us, which vindicates our position in our own mind).

    What about reading? I've not seen many responses yet that indicate that people actually read stuff to learn... Or does that necessarily stop once one exits high school or college (never gonna catch me doing that again... :rolleyes: )
  • said:

    Everyone is willfully ignorant...



    Are you quite certain that you understand the meaning of "willfully"?
  • said:

    I think the gist of the article was to point out the fact that people have stopped learning on purpose.

    They grab a few fast facts (if it is on the web it has to be true) then run with them instead of applying themselves to learn of this world, history, economics, politics, etc.

    We "like" this or that (thanks axe) and comment on it, argue about it, etc., but have no real basis for what we hold as true except that the community we run with all feels the same way (or argues with us, which vindicates our position in our own mind).

    What about reading? I've not seen many responses yet that indicate that people actually read stuff to learn... Or does that necessarily stop once one exits high school or college (never gonna catch me doing that again... :rolleyes: )

    So arguing with people on whichever topic is bad, but reading a book and taking everything as gospel is good? You know that books are written by people right?
  • said:


    So arguing with people on whichever topic is bad, but reading a book and taking everything as gospel is good? You know that books are written by people right?

    All but one....
  • Gee.... Guy has found another reason to pull out his e-penis for reading. We understand Guy, you read a lot of books.

    On the topic, I'd argue that it's not about what type of information you consume, it's more about how you process information... and in a larger sense what one considers to be true if one accepts anything can be true.
  • said:

    said:


    So arguing with people on whichever topic is bad, but reading a book and taking everything as gospel is good? You know that books are written by people right?

    All but one....
    You don't actually believe that, do you?
    said:

    Gee.... Guy has found another reason to pull out his e-penis for reading.

    Indeed. Christine O'Donnell does not approve.
  • said:

    said:

    said:


    So arguing with people on whichever topic is bad, but reading a book and taking everything as gospel is good? You know that books are written by people right?

    All but one....
    You don't actually believe that, do you?
    Yes, I do. The cook book "To Serve Humanity" was clearly written by aliens.
  • said:

    What about reading? I've not seen many responses yet that indicate that people actually read stuff to learn...

    This might be indicated by the significant population who skip your posts.
  • said:

    Gee.... Guy has found another reason to pull out his e-penis for reading. We understand Guy, you read a lot of books.

    On the topic, I'd argue that it's not about what type of information you consume, it's more about how you process information... and in a larger sense what one considers to be true if one accepts anything can be true.

    That's not what this is about...

    It is rather the fact that most other people don't read much of substance at all. Which, is partly why we are being led by the nose down a socialistic path led by someone who is manipulating the cult of personality.
  • said:

    On the topic, I'd argue that it's not about what type of information you consume, it's more about how you process information... and in a larger sense what one considers to be true if one accepts anything can be true.

    And from that point what you do with information. While we are flooded with information, the bulk of which it is trivial. A sea of triviality detached from the wisdom to apply may be worse than useless.

    I found the tone of the author odious. He seems like the sort who can barely restrain himself from telling you that he doesn't own a tv within the first few minutes of meeting him. That kind of self-congratulatory revelation is generally passed along with an expression that let's you know how stupid you must be to have one.

    ...then you talk with them and too often find that they are not especially interested in the world beyond the distractions that make up their days. They didn't know that there is ongoing friction between Colombia and Venezuela, but they will tell you all about tulip bulbs until you want to stuff a gun in your mouth.

    Moreover, the author appears to consider interests outside his own or diffferent his best evidence that people don't read enough and are consequently ignorant. You would think someone so immersed in the life of the mind would be more aware.

    Finally, I think his thesis is wrong.

    Access to knowledge, for the first time in history, is largely unimpeded for the middle class.

    Information is certainly available, but at somepoint the over-abundance of mere information works aganst knowledge and wisdom. Is red wine and chocolate good for your heart, or will it make you fat and subject to heart disease and diabetes? There is a lot of information on those questions, but it hasn't really given us a lot of useful answers. Can reading more tell me whether I eat too many eggs?

    The primary modern impediment to knowledge is a mob of self-proclaimed authorities with access to media.
  • said:

    It is rather the fact that most other people don't read much of substance at all. Which, is partly why we are being led by the nose down a socialistic path led by someone who is manipulating the cult of personality.

    Reading doesn't make you smart, it teaches you things. There's a big difference.
  • said:

    said:

    It is rather the fact that most other people don't read much of substance at all. Which, is partly why we are being led by the nose down a socialistic path led by someone who is manipulating the cult of personality.

    Reading doesn't make you smart, it teaches you things. There's a big difference.
    And people who learn a wide variety of "things" become smart when they can then pull all the threads of current discussion together into a cohesive view.

    There seems to be a view here that "what" one reads changes things (as in, how can one "trust" what is said in books). In a sense, that is prima facie true, but if one reads widely you will eventually see both sides of most arguments, with their supporting facts (or lack thereof) and also the underlying philosophy that drives the discussion. It might be suggested that intentional efforts to reduce ignorance would include readings on both sides of issues.

    In my own case, it is widely assumed that I have may not have read the other side of cases I argue against because my position often opposes the conventional wisdom of our culture. That assumption would be false. It is often because I have read both sides of the issue that I formulate my position.

    In any case, we could be better informed as citizens of North America (I'm including Canada and Mexico in this thought) if we understood the driving motivations for our current culture of personality. We are willfully ignorant because reading of this type takes work. Yet, if we would just read some of the sea change works that are driving the underlying philosophy of our culture, like Marcuse, Rousseau, and others, we would understand how ideas and methodology for social upheaval are driving our society down roads that can only end badly. The number of people who even know that they are being led by these failed philosophies are so few that they exist almost exclusively in the same set of scholarly academics that promulgate their philosophies into the minds of willing students who sit under their watchcare. A sad state of affairs...
  • said:

    And people who learn a wide variety of "things" become smart when they can then pull all the threads of current discussion together into a cohesive view.

    I disagree. You have to BE smart before you read "things", in order for that synthesis of information to happen.
  • said:

    said:

    And people who learn a wide variety of "things" become smart when they can then pull all the threads of current discussion together into a cohesive view.

    I disagree. You have to BE smart before you read "things", in order for that synthesis of information to happen.
    Pretty much this, I don't think one causes the other as you suggest, Guy. I know many highly educated people that are mind-bendingly stupid.
  • I think most academics read often. Most academics appear to be socialist. Reading makes you socialist?
  • said:

    I know many highly educated people that are mind-bendingly stupid.

    Academic education can produce its own sort of stupidity. I think some people remain academics because they know they could not cut it outside the bubble.
    said:

    There seems to be a view here that "what" one reads changes things (as in, how can one "trust" what is said in books). In a sense, that is prima facie true,...

    Opposing an idea as true on its face reminds me of a homely girl who derides a stunning beauty as "conventionally attractive".
    said:

    In my own case, it is widely assumed that I have may not have read the other side of cases I argue against because my position often opposes the conventional wisdom of our culture.

    In real life, on the net, or both?
  • said:

    I think most academics read often. Most academics appear to be socialist. Reading makes you socialist?

    No. Reading makes you old. The old have read more than the young, therefore reading makes you old.
  • said:

    said:

    I think most academics read often. Most academics appear to be socialist. Reading makes you socialist?

    No. Reading makes you old. The old have read more than the young, therefore reading makes you old.
    Must be so. I started reading well before starting school, and look at me now.

    If only I'd known...

    :D
  • I would also note that based on my limited research reading appears to make some mens' hair fall out.
  • said:

    I would also note that based on my limited research reading appears to make some mens' hair fall out.

    Where'd you read that?
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