Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Selective Ignorance: A Rant

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

--Ben Franklin
Do you know what really chaffs my ass?

Selective ignorance

It starts with simple rejection: I could say something wise or intelligent or merely different from the norm, something that may or may not have been scientifically proven or spoken by a great sage, and because it has not been accepted by mainstream science, by the herd of society, as religious dogma, or whatever, I’m automatically perceived as the dim-witted fool.

I could put forth some truth of life or some alternate idea as to how a thing works, but how dare I, some young, uncredentialed “Joe,” think he knows as much as, more, or differently than an “authority” figure carrying the title of “Priest” or “Doctor” or “Congressman,” or a peer who’d been trained by one such “authority.”

Now, while this rejection for approaching life with an open mind can be a frustration, what really chaffs my ass is how the selectively ignorant could hear the exact same thing from some “approved” “authority” a day or a year later and it’s like, “Oh, well, that makes complete sense.” Or perhaps they’d already heard what I’ve said but with a different “authoritative” interpretation, and mine is, most assuredly, incorrect.

All the while, when I say my piece, they won’t touch it. They may argue falteringly (even if this means their only argument is: “Shut up, you asshole!”), or they may find a counter-argument in resources from their "accepted" side of the argument to try to prove me wrong. But they refuse to cross the line to research things from my side.

And rather than admitting imperfection, they’ll pick at anything to “prove” I’m “wrong.” It’s almost not an exaggeration to say that sometimes I could be correct, and the arguer knows it (or at least suspects it), but they’ll look and look and, yep, sure enough, they’ll find me in error—I’d actually written my idea to them, and I’d forgotten to dot an “i”. There goes my arguement.

Or they might just straight-up attack me. Shooting the messenger always seems to be a great choice when the message is inconvenient in its potential.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

I like what Aristotle was getting at, but maybe he’d have been better saying something like, “the mark of a judicious mind,” or “the mark of a discerning mind.” Because it seems all too often that the more educated, the more intelligent, someone becomes, the greater is the their lack in smarts and wisdom.

I remember in one instance (of too many), I’d made a comment to some educated folks about how Big Pharma makes drugs to keep people sick. I don’t remember my exact wording; I just remember that it was a reasonably shallow truth, as in one that should be outrageously obvious to anyone with at least the brain power of an amoeba. (All you have to do is listen to a Big Pharma ad on TV. Suffer from depression? Ask your doctor about Fukupmalife. Side effects may include depression, diabetes, stroke, heart palpitations, hot flashes, abnormal sweating, memory loss, constipation, violent outbursts, and death.)

Yet on hearing my words, the energy amongst the group died immediately. If the coroner would have shown up a few minutes later saying that he’d had a profound intuitive sense of death passing over, I wouldn’t have been surprised. All went silent and faces became deranged as if they’d just been scarred stupid by a moron and desperately needed to change the topic or go do something else in order to regain their hold on “sanity.”

“They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.”
--Louise Erdrich

To those who're selectively ignorant (Don't be shy, now. I already know who you are, so you don't need to be selectively ignorant about being selectively ignorant.):

Have some respect. Admit that you're human and make mistakes, that you don't know everything about everything.

You’re not serving anyone. I fully recognize that you hurt, that you’re scared, and that’s why you’re behaving as you are. But you’re hurting others and you’re hurting yourself.

For crying out loud: You attack others to protect yourself from having to see that you’re wrong. You seek to know and be right, yet you fight to remain ignorant!

Realize that the “authority” or peers who you’re siding with for approval very well may not even care about you. And you know this; hence, why you feel the need to side with them: because you know they’ll reject you if you don’t… It might surprise you to know that they’re in it for the same reasons as you. (And sometimes power and money, neither of which you're likely getting any of.)

All the while, the “authority” or peers you’re kissing up to by holding onto what is, at least potentially, false, they can’t even give you what you want.

Externally, you want the truth. As stated, however, you're foolishly pushing away the very sources who have been giving it to you. Otherwise, what you want is inside of you. And as long as you’re unwaveringly seeking "out there" somewhere, and attacking those who already have the truth, you’ll spend your whole life in a state of dissatisfaction… with a lot of enemies who would much prefer to be friends.

“Remember that nobody will ever get ahead of you as long as he is kicking you in the seat of the pants.”
--Walter Winchell

This is funny. I’d spent my whole life being psycho-emotionally kicked in the seat of the pants by others. And so in my defense, I was always looking behind me.

But when I finally turned around, guess who I saw?

No one! Because I'd been ahead all along!

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
--[apparently not] Mahatma Gandhi

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