"My Ignorance is as Good as Your Knowledge" --Asimov

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by danshawen, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    At least 110%

    Alex
     
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Only the ratings can tell.
    Alex
     
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  5. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Like selling refrigerators to eskimos? After global warming, perhaps, but the Inuit didn't cause global warming, did they? But anti-vaxers definitely can cause a pandemic, like global warming, if there are enough of them.

    There are too many people on this small planet now. If enough of them make the wrong value choices, it affects all of us. Directly. Is it their fault if it does?
     
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  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Making the right value choices is more important now than ever before in our history, yet ignorance seems to be very much on the rise and I see no good way to stop it, other than the means nature seems to be taking for herself.

    But don't bother to call nature stupid. Not only is she not stupid, but she produced the muddied water you are all thinking with, if you can call it thinking, that is. She isn't "stupid". Wasteful, definitely, yes. Prepare to be wasted, particularly if everyone adopts Isaac's little manifesto and make it their own.

    You might all at least try listening to values other than your own and try to understand them. Nah... Your children don't, so why should you? By all means, have more stupid children and don't bother teaching any of them to make the right value choices, or to listen to anyone else. How brilliant is that? Sorry about that, Isaac, but you were more right than you knew.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    It's "our" fault.
    For letting them get away with the ignorance - What You Permit, You Promote.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    To rip off Edmund Burke:

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of ignorance is for knowledgeable men to do nothing.
     
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  10. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Except that, as Isaac observed, it isn't always possible to tell what exactly is the difference. A refrigerator salesman may be knowledgeable enough to try and sell a reliable brand of refrigerator to the Inuit, but what they really needed was simply a large container to keep whale and seal carcasses from hungry polar bears. Whose knowledge is more serviceable to the needs of the Inuit, and who gets to decide what values to teach children in that culture?

    Knowledge only has value as it pertains to survival. The rest of whatever you try to teach is ignored, and this is true for any culture. John Dewey be damned for teaching whatever he can find a textbook to teach from, and also for charging society a king's ransom for doing so. This is why I abruptly gave up on the idea of a second career as a teacher. I'd rather be homeless.

    I see poor families crowding into local emergency rooms for instruction on how to use aspirin. Why not just teach them all the practical medical knowledge to be able to discern medical science from quackery? Instead of social studies or the French Revolution, as just one example? Why, because until very recently, it was practical to limit their access to such knowledge and charge money for access. This can't continue. There will be some sort of revolution to counter this state of affairs, and values will abruptly be adjusted.

    Teach them about drug addiction BEFORE they become addicted.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  11. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually I read something just this week (although, since I didn't know I'd need it I didn't bother keeping a bookmark) that refrigerators have been used by Inuit to stop food getting too cold. Which, if you think about it, does make sense...
     
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  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Anyone has an equal right to express their opinions. That's the free speech principle. And people equally have the right to choose who and what to believe.

    And all of us, no matter how exalted our educations, are going to find ourselves in the position of having to decide what to believe about subjects about which we are unfamiliar and untrained. That's the human condition.

    That's where critical thinking comes into play. The complaint in this thread seems to me to come dangerously close to a condemnation of critical thinking in favor of simple credulity when purported authority figures are telling the public what to think.

    Asimov (if he really said what he's being quoted as saying) seems to be complaining the age-old academics' complaint that professors like him aren't society's aristocratic rulers with everyone else being reduced to the status of sheep-like followers expected to believe whatever they are told.

    What makes a biochemist any more authoritative about things unrelated to biochemistry than the average person on the street? Asimov wrote on an amazingly wide variety of non-fiction topics in which he had little or no formal education. He was writing as a layman on most of those subjects, yet he thought that it was worthwhile to do it. He just seemed to assume that he had a right to do it. (And I agree that he did.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Sure.
    But they have no "right" to claim that their uninformed opinion on a subject has weight equal to one from someone who's put in the time and effort to learn that subject - that's what he was talking about.

    Not even close: my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge - his entire "thesis"/ complaint was that on any given topic there's the attitude (from some people) that an uniformed opinion is just as good as an informed one.
    One clue to this is that he contrasts the word "ignorance" with another word - "knowledge": he's not complaining about people saying "I don't don't know about this subject and neither do you, so our opinions are equally valid".

    And Asimov made sure that he did the work so that he was informed about what he was writing.
    Again, his point was that there are people who hold the idea that their (uninformed) opinion is as valid as an "expert's" and this seems to be more prevalent with increasingly complex subjects - e.g. someone who doesn't know about cars will defer to a trained mechanic but that same person (if not up on the subject) will quite happily hold forth on why evolution is wrong while talking to someone who specialises in it.
     
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    In populated parts of the arctic, it isn't always below freezing and it can occasionally get surprisingly warm. Barrow Alaska enjoys two summer months of the year (July and August) in which on average it doesn't go below freezing even at night. In July, the average high is 47 degrees F and the all-time record high was 79.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrow,_Alaska

    So I guess that a fridge would help ensure that food doesn't spoil when it's warm and isn't always frozen solid when it's cold.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  15. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Wisdom is considerate.
     
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  16. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    "There is one good knowledge, and one bad ignorance."
    -Socrates

    But, Existence is a fallen angel.
     
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    No, existence is existence and Lucifer is a fallen angel.
     
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  18. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Religious values are as valid as any other.

    A knowledge of the values of the first of the ten commandments, for example, tells us that idolatry including symbols, religious texts or scripture and/or graven images are all morally subordinate to faith in a higher power, and that it is a mortal and cardinal sin even for an angel or a religious leader or personage, no matter how faithful or splendid, to expect or curry worship akin to that demanded of G-d him or herself from the faithful. This is no small demand of religious followers, and so it is no wonder that it seems to be the commandment most often broken, and also the deadliest sin next to the sin of pride, the particular sin that most often causes this commandment to be broken.

    In Lucifer's case, look what pride in his own spendor got him.

    Hitler seemed to apply a similar value to pride in the superiority of a master Aryan race, with a result no less evil than Lucifer himself.

    Is it really any different with Trump's misbegotten pride in an America made great again? How dubous is it that a nation of immigrants or of a single master race would be made greater by a greater degree inbreeding? What misbegotten value is that?

    Good values are hard to underestimate in terms of what they can do for a society. Bad ones keep cropping up everywhere, and always have deleterious effects. This is the main reason most of the middle East, save Israel, is a great example of a bad example of what a society should value most. No culture or society should be using them as a model of good societal values. They are anything but. Today, as in ancient times, the only value they seem to have that is worth anything at all is architectural. Are these also idols, like the pyramids / pharohs really were? I don't care it this pisses of the people who designed Dubai. It is what it is. $h!+ on such values. This is evidently what investing too much money and effort in pumping and refining toxic flammable crud from the ground brings to a society. No real lasting value there.

    People so quick to accuse other cultures of being infidels (breakers of the first commandment) should take a good long look in a mirror sometime. If the highest archetecture in a city must have a Mosque at the top, it is very difficult for the faithful not to regard it as an idol, is it really? That would be a good example of a lousy value, and one that causes nothing but contradiction of other better values. Thanks again for 9/11. Your ignorance is complete now, isn't it? So much for values associated with archetecture. Our ignorance is better than your knowledge in this case.

    Thanks for teaching us to count. I suppose that was worth something.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Satan exist but he can't believe, unless make believe wills an enemy.
     
  20. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    I, and, I suspect, most posters here, would greatly appreciate it if you learned how to form coherent comprehensible sentences.
    You know, little things like grammar, syntax and making sense.
    Take some (ideally a very long) time off to get an education - don't worry about us missing you: we won't.
     
  21. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    This will be my final post to sciforums. I learned a lot from most of you. Others were better participants in a discussion when ignored completely.

    I see that Plazma Inferno and Paddoboy have both departed before my last post. I will miss them. Good luck to both of you, whereever you go.

    Keep up the good work, rpenner. You taught me much more than I bargained for, and your excellent work extends far beyond these forums.

    I grew very fond of every moderator here with the exception of James R, who, if he were not a moderator, would have been on my permanent ignore list very early on. There is something wrong with the way he moderates, and too often he himself breaks the same rules for which he delivers his moderator "points" to others. In most instances and in most threads he moderates, he does this several times. If James R has science credentials at all, it must be from Bob Jones University or some such bogus accreditation. He does not seem to understand the difference between real science and whatever fluff he has gathered between his ears. He knows how to shut down discussion well enough, and if that is what this discussion forum wants, I expect this will turn into a vacated ghost town discussion in short order. This may have happened already. I didn't notice when I came back to visit.

    All branches of science without exception have gaps and inconsistencies. When this is the case, a discussion forum such as this one is useful to determine a direction in which speculation and research in a scientific field may be likely to go. If you don't agree, James R, then it is likely that you don't really know any science. Find yourself a discussion forum full of trolls somewhere else. It needn't be about science at all. They are easy enough to find.

    I don't care to discuss specific instances of James R's flawed moderation, and at any rate it no longer matters at all to me.

    Goodbye.
     
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Please don't leave.
    Alex
     
  23. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't understand half the things you hint at I don't have and interest in politics or world domination etc
    Could you not stay for the science.
    Alex
     
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