“Shut up, you’re ignorant.”
My brother, 8 years older than myself, used to throw that out while we were young as a means to end any argument or disagreement .
I came to associate that word with being stupid, and I’d hazard a guess that the majority of the US works under the same premise.
That is stupid. Being ignorant is not.
In case you are unsure, here is a quick definition from Merrium-Webster:
Compare that to stupid:
See the difference?
Ignorant is cool.
What’s cool about being ignorant? Ignorant can be fixed. But like my Dad always said, “You can’t fix stupid.”
But ignorance in some arenas is a problem. In others, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about context.
For example – I am ignorant about 3D printing. I mean, I can’t even wrap my head around it. I’ve read articles about 3D printed guns, printed cartilage (I want some!), and in a mobius strip of crazy, a 3D printer is in the works that can print 3D printers.
How does this work?
One of these days, when I have an internet connection and some free time, I’ll find out. But right now, it doesn’t really matter that I’m ignorant.
But. That cartilage thing has some implications for me. I have a weird, undefined disorder that pretty well results in my cartilage kind of eating itself (not the technical terminology). I have recently been told I need 2 knee replacements, a hip replacement and a tweak out on the artificial hip I already have. And an appointment for a shoulder specialist in August, because I currently have the range of motion on par with a T-Rex right now.
At the moment, my ignorance on 3D printing is no big whoop, because it’s not ready. I’ll go the cut open, sawing and hammering route.
But fake joints have a life span of about 15 years. I will outlive them. And by the time they are ready for the scrap heap, that 3D printing thing will be on more solid footing. And I will likely have to choose between replacement of the traditional sort, or work done via 3D printing.
Why am I going on about this?
Our local governor lately made the news for a smackdown on the Social Security and Medicare folks, calling them welfare recipients. Despite, you know, paying in out of their paychecks for years for the privilege of this whopping monthly payment in the stunning ballpark of a grand a month, their micromanaged care, slow paperwork and 9 month long approvals for wheelchairs.
In discussing this with someone as we talked about the upcoming election, I mentioned the New Deal. We’ll cut through the head-explosion inducing crazy to the stunning ignorance part.
He said, “That New Deal thing was garbage. Never should have been done.”
“But….you’re in a union.”
“Well why are you in the union?”
“They stand up to those sonabitches in charge. Without the union I wouldn’t even have my insurance. And even with it, OT policy is shit.”
“Soo, the union is a good thing?”
“Fuckin’ right it is.”
“Yeah, you wouldn’t really have a union, or OT pay, without the New Deal.”
“Bullshit. (There was more here, but that pretty well sums it up).
“Yeah, it’s not bullshit. It was the Wagner Act. It brought back collective bargaining. And there was the whole Fair labor stuff too…OT, 40 hour work weeks and all that jazz.”
The conversation devolved from there, but the take away is that he was ignorant. Which is, in and of itself, not a bad thing. He could read up, get some learnin’. But he is so solidly set in his mind that he won’t. And that is stupid. Which of course, we have already established can’t be fixed.
And it is also why corrupt, out of touch politicians with deep, personal agendas are voted in time after time.
Because all that we are given in stump speeches and carefully constructed press releases is this:
But…really, we are ignorant. So most of us will choose the pretty package tied up with bows, rather than taking the time to open the package to see what’s inside before we choose.
But it is what is IN the package that should count.
That pretty one? Often contains this:
What comes in ugly old cardboard boxes sometimes?
So don’t be afraid of being ignorant. It’s kind of like being naked, only for your brain.
And what do you do when you have to interact the world while you are naked? You get dressed. Problem solved.
So if you are ignorant and about to interact with your world, and make decisions that impact other people, grab a book, or a newspaper and make your brain presentable before stepping outside.
The world will be a better place for it.