My Ignorance is just as good as your knowledge

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zolkowski

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Edited By zolkowski

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mandude

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#2  Edited By mandude

This is something I often think about as well. I try to keep my opinions to a minimum.

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Pezen

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#3  Edited By Pezen

@Zolkowski said:

We live in a society where people think politics is about opinions instead of facts.

Since when was politics ever about facts?

I would rephrase that; we live in a society where politics are opinions sold as facts and facts are sold as being up for interpretation.

But you should vote based on facts and available data indicating the direction you want something to take. Which is why I've rarely voted for the same party (Sweden) twice. Because what's important changes, some years I vote green other years I vote with my wallet and whichever party is most in line with the direction I want us to go I'll vote for. Which is why I never understood loyalists in politics. It's an oxymoron to me.

But just as I told my boss during an evaluation discussion at work; if you want smart people around you that can bring the overall quality of something up, you must be sure to educate them on things so they know what they're doing. It's a double edged sword for those in power, but it's for the greater good if they could see past their greed. More people with knowledge means more ideas for progress.

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TruthTellah

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#4  Edited By TruthTellah

@Zolkowski: I completely agree.

We should have intelligence tests and only allow the elite intellects of our land to decide government policy for the ignorant masses. Then, amongst the elite class, they can elect a charismatic leader who will properly direct us against the unwashed hordes that threaten us on all sides. To keep the dumb population from bringing down society, we shall construct a system whereby people of lower intelligence are pitted against each other in a game to the death. Food will go to the craftiest among society, and over time, only the truly wise and educated will prevail. Today's much-needed minority shall become the majority, overturning the chaotic order that has plagued lesser civilizations that could not go far enough to perfect society.

And that, my friends, is what democracy is all about it.

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zolkowski

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#5  Edited By zolkowski

@TruthTellah: None of those solutions were my implications. I made the suggestion of pushing for a stronger education system. I'm assuming you are building a strawman. If you were joking around, I am sorry I didn't catch your sarcasm. If not, take your knee-jerking somewhere else or actually contribute to the conversation.

@Pezen: I should have reiterated the point a little 'bit. You laid it out as I intended, however.

It's not like we can ever magically fix this problem, though it would be nice. Our hopes lay with how we can raise the youth to apply these thinking skills.

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DarthOrange

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#6  Edited By DarthOrange

Welcome to the Untied States of America, where ignorance is bliss and knowledge is hell.

Studying Social Ecology (criminology, psychology, and sociology) I have to say that the more you learn, the more depressed you become, and you kind of have to just tune it out if you want to be happy. When you start to look at the world you realize how fucked up some things are and you begin to wonder if you are the only one who sees it. You start to wonder, how is segregation still a problem today? How is it that groups like one million moms even exist in this day and age? How is it that immigrants are still treated as less-than human beings?

And that's just scratching the surface with the problems, and that's just in the United States. Shit is bad all over the world and you start to wonder if you are the only one who sees it. You wonder if maybe you should just not think about it like everyone else. You realize that ignorance is bliss, and knowledge is hell.

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Winternet

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#7  Edited By Winternet

I disagree. Ignorance is far better than knowledge. Knowledge just brings you sadness and grief.

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zolkowski

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#8  Edited By zolkowski

@DarthOrange: Doesn't that knowledge make you yearn for a solution? Isn't that, in the end, the best result? A collective effort, knowing the glaring problems we face, to fix them? It can be depressing, but it's also motivational.

@Winternet: It all depends what you do with the knowledge. I'd rather have a large group of sobered individuals trying to figure things out than a mass of 'ignorant bliss' not even bothering with the most important of issues. With knowledge it doesn't mean it's impossible to be happy.

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Winternet

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#9  Edited By Winternet

@Zolkowski: I'm just talking about knowledge in its pure state. Knowledgeable people can be happy, of course. But, it's other traits, like ambition, determination, daring, lucky, physical traits and so on, that make a knowledgeable person happy and not knowledge itself.

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TruthTellah

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#10  Edited By TruthTellah

@Zolkowski: heh. I suggested the establishment of a dystopian nation where poor people fight to the death for the amusement of the elite.

So, yes, I was being 100% serious. :|

Of course I was being facetious, ya crazy fellow. This is Giant Bomb. Loosen the collar a bit.

Now, on the topic, I disagree with your characterization of how many democracies are doing, but I can certainly share your concern on an uninformed electorate. Education is absolutely paramount to the efficient management of a democracy. Contrary to the focus on how ignorant many people are, I would actually posit that more people than ever actually have some inkling of what is going on today. If we look at where public knowledge was in the past, even just a few decades ago, there has been a decent increase in public awareness. In the past, you would find many more people with less knowledge of what was happening around them; now, you have people who are at least aware of events and issues. Sure, they may still be relatively uninformed or even misinformed on these issues, but being aware of a wider range of topics is still better than having little information on anything outside of your day to day job. Modern democracies have some of the most informed citizens any democracy has seen. Of course, that isn't saying much, but when talking about whether countries are sliding backwards or making progress, many Western democracies are still making progress over the past.

The present often looks worse when we don't see it relative to the past. I have heard people suggest that the United States is more divided than ever, and I would suggest that such an opinion could only come from someone born relatively recently. Even just going as far back as the 60s and 70s, you found a far more divided nation with people ardently entrenched in their own ideologies. Prominent leaders worried of another Civil War of all things. Many decry how corrupt businesses or the policy are, but then, you had horrendous abuses of the century which make most recent complaints pale in comparison.

Undeniably there are issues and areas in need of progress. When I say things have been far worse, that doesn't preclude that things today are peachy keen. On the contrary, a lot of work remains, and in an open society, there will always be work left to do. I see people condemning government like it had never done a good thing in all its days, and then I see people who believe the government can just make up more money and assume more power until society is forced to be amazing. As always, people buy into what sounds nice to them. It's that way whether people are well-informed or not. The well-informed part simply helps in deciding what sounds best to people. Even if it is messy, it is still best for the government to be in the business of selling ideas and solutions over simply imposing them over the will of the populace. Government can only do so much, and it is to the credit of everyday people that this or any other nation runs as well as it does. And it runs decently. Not in a particularly pretty way, but about how it should.

The greatest boon to a democracy is not necessarily the populace's reverence of "facts", per se, but in the quality and breadth of their discussion of the issues. As much as there are problems with how respected facts are today in a world with the Internet which often gives allegations and suppositions about as much credibility as facts, much of society still has an alright dialogue on the issues of the day. Even a side that is right on an issue needs a counterbalance which can either challenge positions or give them more credibility through the discourse itself. We may perceive our way as the only true way, and we may occasionally be right, but many different views help solidify good policy without those policies going too far. We need the contention in society that differing viewpoints provide. As you said, there is a bit of ignorance in us all, and that's why we need each other to get a clearer grasp of how things truly are. As long as things eventually get done, even uninformed views are useful to the messy equation of public governance.

Perhaps that isn't particularly helpful to those set on feeling indignant on how dumb many people can be, but the truth is that we need those people in the system just as we need those who are more informed. And despite how the expansion of mass media has portrayed it, people are actually more informed than ever. That's certainly a good direction to be moving. It may indeed be frustrating to deal with some idiots on a daily basis, but that's part of a rather diverse society. And one of the best defenses of good government is diversity of input. Helps keep government from ever getting too large it pushes out too many views or too small that it is no longer efficient or useful. Managing the reality of how informed people are and the various views held by people in society on numerous issues is at the heart of a democratic process. There will always be a majority that knows less than the minority; we can only hope and work hard to make the more ill-informed public more informed than the previous generations. In that way, the messy engine of democracy continues to function as best that it can.

Having said that, I just wanted to say that I feel for your pain over the loss of a father. So young, as well. I hope you will find some rest from the pain though it may not fully cease. I wish for you all the best as you move forward, Zolkowski.

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DeF

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#11  Edited By DeF

@DarthOrange said:

Welcome to the Untied States of AmericaEarth, where ignorance is bliss and knowledge is hell.

Fixed :)

The accelerated and overly structured nature of our lives has become a serious problem. everybody is so caught up in micro managing their own shit and trying not to drown in a raging sea that nobody or hardly anybody has the time or sanity left to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

What makes me especially sad is that I believe to know where the problem lies but I have no idea how to realistically fix any of it (I have plenty of very bad ideas that would make things much worse in the process or would get me assassinated by the evil overlords who don't want anything to change).

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dudeglove

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#12  Edited By dudeglove

In other words you should pick your battles (at least the ones you know you can fight), rather than commenting on every "scandalous" issue under the sun.

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DarthOrange

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#13  Edited By DarthOrange

@DeF said:

@DarthOrange said:

Welcome to the Untied States of AmericaEarth, where ignorance is bliss and knowledge is hell.

Fixed :)

The accelerated and overly structured nature of our lives has become a serious problem. everybody is so caught up in micro managing their own shit and trying not to drown in a raging sea that nobody or hardly anybody has the time or sanity left to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

yea I ended by saying that my issues were just with the US, and every place has there problems.

@DeF said:

What makes me especially sad is that I believe to know where the problem lies but I have no idea how to realistically fix any of it (I have plenty of very bad ideas that would make things much worse in the process or would get me assassinated by the evil overlords who don't want anything to change).

@Zolkowski said:

@DarthOrange: Doesn't that knowledge make you yearn for a solution? Isn't that, in the end, the best result? A collective effort, knowing the glaring problems we face, to fix them? It can be depressing, but it's also motivational.

But what is the solution? Ask nicely for change and go protest peacefully? Egypt tried that, and look what happened to them. They are still up to there heads in problems with both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Seeing as how we are almost at a completely globalized world (save for a few small areas) you can't change one thing without having change everywhere else. Look at what has happened to protests in "developed" nations just last year. Both the London riots and the Occupy Wall Street movements are nothing more then faint memories and they changed nothing. So yea, I have no idea what the solution would be, but I know it would not be a peaceful and smooth one.