Self Enforced Ignorance in the Digital Age

There are a number of debates going through Parliament right now, about everything from mental health to housing costs.  The current kerfuffle is the immigration debate, where those who are applying to join their family/spouse in the UK have to jump through additional hoops.   It’s an exceedingly large and complex issue, taking into account not only national laws, but international regulations, impact to the financial infer-structure, and soci0-economic displacement.  Which means, of course, that most people will try to simplify it as quickly as possible and pick a side.

We live in the zenith of the information age.  We have the knowledge from tens of thousands of years of scholars, common men and women, and the very planet itself at our fingertips.  The thing you are reading this on has the capacity to show you the known universe.  That is humbling, empowering, and inspiring.  So when people choose to stick their heads in the sand, it is horrifying beyond words.  Do these people realize what Newton, or Aristotle, or Curie could have done with this information?  Tesla would have given his right arm to be able to access the knowledge and technology that we take for granted.  When the un-informed enter a debate without actual facts, it’s irritating.  When they are then shown actual facts, and make the deliberate choice to stay ignorant, clinging to your pre-conceived notions, it’s infuriating.

I don’t care if you have an informed opinion that differs from mine.  I have friends who are on the right, the left, and pretty much everywhere in between.  I do care if you have made an opinion based on nothing more than your ephemeral fear, hatred, prejudice, or whatever other idiocy you use in place of a source. (And just for an old fashioned reminder, I mean primary source, not an article in the Daily Fail).  If we look at a chart that says that 4 blue birds poop on a politicians’ heads every day, and you think it’s still too high a number, that’s fine.  We’ve looked at the data and then made an informed opinion.  But if we look at a chart that says 4 blue birds poop on a politicians’ heads every day, and you say “No!  It’s hundreds of thousands of poops a day!  And it’s not blue birds, it’s hippos flying zepplins!!!”, then I can’t do much but shake my head at you, like I would at a dog barking at its own reflection.

But why should one person sticking their head in the sand bother me?  Because you don’t have to be informed to vote.  Each person’s vote carries the same weight, and that is terrifying when people are voting for policies, politicians, and national ideals without actually knowing what they are voting for.  Ignorance isn’t just annoying – it’s dangerous.

Ah well.  All you can do is keep showing actual facts.  If people want to believe in zepplin-driving hippos that target and defecate on targeted individuals, that’s their world.  And while there may be a large amount of hippo shit people in the world, at least a few of us are actually looking at reality.


3 thoughts on “Self Enforced Ignorance in the Digital Age


    What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  2. […] that intellectually the world went backwards, and those were just before the various dark ages.  Why would you intentionally try to drag the rest of us back, when so many have worked so hard to help us go forward?  The world may never know.  What I do […]

  3. […] it. The over-coiffed people on the couch feeding you a steady diet of misinformation and paranoia? Not helping you. Coulter and O’Reilly are only on Fox because they need to shill their newest book; they have to […]

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