Tag Archives: ignorance

Stupid or Ignorant?

Remember the t-shirts that were popular for awhile? They had printed on the front the words “I’m With Stupid” and had an arrow pointing to the person next to you. Funny shirt.

There is a difference between being “stupid” and being “ignorant”.

To be stupid, according to Merriam-Webster:

aslow of mind 
bgiven to unintelligent decisions or acts acting in an unintelligent or careless manner
clacking intelligence or reason 

Now, to be ignorant is something

a: destitute of knowledge or education
also:lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified
bresulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence
An important distinction.
Stupid is probably something you cannot control. I have had a few students who were
truly stupid. Yes, I know teachers aren’t supposed to say that, but it is true. Anyone who has ever sat in a classroom as student or teacher knows what I am talking about. The kid just doesn’t get it.
So, someone who is stupid is “slow of mind”. Not mentally retarded, just a bit slow. Clueless. Doesn’t get it. You tell them a joke with any degree of sophistication and it goes over their head. When they read the “Onion ” they think they are reading the “New York Times”.
Ignorant is something else, however. Everyone is ignorant. All of us. Even me. (Hard to believe).
Being ignorant simply means you don’t have knowledge in a certain area.  It means you have little “knowledge” and lack understanding in some area.
I used to have this little argument with my seniors in government class. Some students insisted (as does Kelly Ann Conway) that every opinion is just as valid as any other opinion. In other words, all opinions are equal. The denial of expertise. So, alternate facts are just as valid as real facts. And there are a number of people who hold to this flawed concept.
My response to the kids was simply this. If you are pains in your abdomen, whose opinion are you going to consider? I , as a person with no training as a doctor tell you not to worry, those are just pains that only exist in your imagination. Do you accept my opinion? Or, do you seek the opinion of a doctor? Are those opinions equal in value?
Let me give another example. Ben Carson. Ben Carson is an excellent surgeon. If you wanted surgery, he is the guy whose opinion you would want. Intelligent. But, Ben Carson is also ignorant. Ben Carson claimed that the Great Pyramid of Gaza was used as a grain storage facility for the ancient Egyptians. He claimed that a solid stone monolith was a for grain storage.
How can a man who is intelligent is one area be so utterly ignorant in another? Well, my guess is that he read something to that effect and just believed it. So, he had one source of information and did not bother to read other sources, from experts in Egyptology. Ignorant, but not necessarily stupid.
Now, if Ben Carson wanted to stop being ignorant about the Great Pyramid his problem could be easily solved. He could consult a basic textbook on Egypt, written by someone who actually was an expert. If he did so, and he wasn’t stupid, he would change his opinion about the function of the Great Pyramid. Of course, in order to do so he would have to be open to his own ignorance on that particular topic.
When we think of those with different views from us we need to consider the differences between ignorant and stupid. Not that many people are stupid. After all, as a species being stupid is not an evolutionary advantage. No amount of information can help a person who is truly stupid.
An ignorant person, on the other hand, can become less ignorant. Anyone with a normal degree of intelligence can learn about the pyramids. Provided they rely on sources of knowledge form experts. From people who have opinions based on study and evidence.
Therein lies the problem. When ignorant people CHOOSE to stay ignorant.
I recall a student I had a numbers of years ago who failed his tests regularly. He blamed me. Why? Because I didn’t teach him anything. I couldn’t dispute that. After all, his test failure spoke for itself. Of course, I never taught any student anything. I simply provided the opportunity for them to learn. they had to be open to learning.
We all have a choice. Stay ignorant or open up to evidence and information Choose to tune out evidence that interferes with our preconceived notions or accept evidence and digest it. And lessen our ignorance.
Perhaps we need a new t-shirt. When we stand next to  those of us who refuse to seek facts and data and evidence that challenge our world view. A t-shirt that says: I’m With Ignorant.


Filed under Politics

Racist Mike Votes

I met Racist Mike this week.

I was visiting my daughter and her husband in their new (old) home in New Jersey…check that..New Joicy.

While  I was working on the back deck the neighbor, Racist Mike leaned over his deck and started a conversation. By the way, at the time of the conversation I had no  idea his  name was Racist Mike. Never met him before.

The conversation started innocuously enough. Talking about golf. I learned he was a great golfer in his youth. I am a hacker. If I lose fewer than three balls on the local 9 hole course I consider it a great round.  Mike used to shoot in the 60s. Till he hurt his back.

After golf I learned that Racist Mike grew up in this part of Jersey and had no desire to visit the Finger Lakes, where I live. No desire to see the world. No Marco Polo is Racist Mike. This area was all he needed to  see.  OK.  We can’t all strive to push the limits of adventure posed by the Garden State Parkway. God knows where it leads !

I  also learned (as you can guess, Racist Mike did most of the talking in this “conversation”)  that his old neighborhood,  just a few miles from here , was now overrun by the “Spanish”. Visions of Generalissimo Franco and his army trudging through Belleville flitted in my brain. Death to traitors. Tapas, anyone?

Then of course, we moved on to the “blacks”. The “blacks ” might be coming to Racist Mike’s neighborhood and he wasn’t thrilled. I am not sure if he knows any “blacks” but he has strong opinions about them.  Kind of how I feel about alien beings from Alph Centuari. Never met one, but I am pretty sure we wouldn’t get along. I wanted to suggest to him  any “blacks” who could afford a $ 400,000 home probably would not want him as a neighbor. But I didn’t.

Next up: Obama and the Ferguson , Missouri shooting. I learned that the police officer in Ferguson was attacked by the black thug and was forced to defend himself by pumping the guy full  of lead. And that Obama and that “black Attorney General” supported black thugs. (To his undying credit, Racist Mike does not use the “N” word. He is a real PC racist.) And, that, my friends , is why the  Democrats will never win another presidential election! You heard it here first, from Racist Mike.

Before I could respond and perhaps start a brawl in my daughter’s new neighborhood I heard a voice from inside the house. “Dad, I need your help here”. It was a way out and I took it. Once inside, my daughter said she didn’t need help but was just giving me an out from Racist Mike’s encyclopedia of ignorance. Thank you, sweetie.

I don’t know where Racist Mike gets his belief system. Probably a combination of growing up in “simpler times” and a steady diet of Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh. There is only so much room in the brain. Maybe the tolerant, smart stuff fell out.  Or , maybe it is just old age. He is 73.  Or maybe his contact with blacks has been limited to his Rap Music video collection. Hence the thug imagery. Whatever.

One thing for sure. Racist Mike votes. Racist Mike, and people like him , make sure they get registered and vote. They help determine who will be in Congress and who may be in the White House.  People like  Racist Mike form the base of the Tea Party, and now, the Republican Party. Something to think about.

Racist Mike votes. Do you ?

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Filed under Conservatives, Elections, Neoconservative, neoconservatives, Politics, Republicans, Society