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|Topic subject||Knowledge versus Ignorance|
4508, Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jul-04-03 10:18 AM
I assume having knowledge is the opposite of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed but I seem to meet plenty of people who have the tools or opportunities of education and information but choose to be unaware or ignore the signs that there is a system of oppression all around them, that there are victims and victors, and there is a vicious cycle of domination that keeps things the way they are.
"A willful neglect or refusal to acquire knowledge which one may acquire and it is his duty to have. --Book of Common Prayer.
Invincible ignorance (Theol.), ignorance beyond the individual's control and for which, therefore, he is not responsible before God." - from www.dictionary.com
How can ignorance be beyond an individual's control, especially people who have tools and opportunities for education and information available to them?
I spent three years trying to educate my co-workers and colleagues about digital convergence and the need to change their services and training in the community to help close the digital divide and make ensure sustainability and growth of their programs. More often I was met with doubt and resistance. Now, forces beyond their control, on the federal level, e.g. the FCC, Department of Commerce, etc. and the private sector (Comcast) are threatening to take away what these people have been able to do for their local communities for 20 years. Why must people be forced to change rather than think ahead and strategize BEFORE their interests are threatened?
This is just one example and there are others, as it relates to society, economics, etc. Personally, in my journey, I've picked up cues from both white and Black people that I can't accomplish a thing because I am female or I am of color but I keep proving them wrong. These so called liberals and progressives refuse to let go of outmoded, racist or sexist ideas that will help people empower themselves, e.g. school or business.
Any ideas about how to help people let go of fear and become more open to change?
4509, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by Belief, Fri Jul-04-03 10:48 AM
>How can ignorance be beyond an individual's control,
>especially people who have tools and opportunities for
>education and information available to them?
If a person CHOOSES not learn, no matter how many opportunities and how many tools are available to them, then they choose to be ignorant. They have to want to learn, to grow, to be educated, otherwise it would be like talking to brick wall.
4510, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jul-04-03 12:13 PM
>If a person CHOOSES not learn, no matter how many
>opportunities and how many tools are available to them, then
>they choose to be ignorant. They have to want to learn, to
>grow, to be educated, otherwise it would be like talking to
I guess I am talking about why a lot of so-called educated and informed people choose not to move beyond a certain point even if they know the ship is sinking or the cheese has moved.
4511, fear of change.|
Posted by jvictoria, Sat Jul-05-03 11:32 AM
among the so-called educated who only respond to situations when they are life or death (or dire), there seems to be the attitude that knowledgeable people have to know EVERYTHING. If they seem like they have questions, they fear people will not come to them for answers.
naturally, it doesn't work like that. but the ego is a powerful thing.
4512, Or they hide in their plush offices|
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 01:51 PM
They delegate and vanish when the going gets rough.
>If they seem like they have questions, they fear people will
>not come to them for answers.
Or they hide to keep people from knowing that they don't know the answers.
>naturally, it doesn't work like that. but the ego is a
I agree. I've been cautious not to become too ego-centric and I try to check myself often. I shy away from politics and promotions but seek to help lots of people from my corner. It's easy to become the judge and I am aware that I am in small company. I want to be for the people but sometimes leadership or clout takes you away from that.
Sometimes I spend too much time worrying about others instead of thinking of ways to move with the cheese. In my case cheese is a metaphor for my vision or sustaining my vision but I am not so focused that I miss that there are times when I need to listen and be led. So many people around me are campers who are desperate and looking to me for answers to help them maintain the status quo. I resent that.
Posted by jvictoria, Sun Jul-06-03 06:55 PM
>Or they hide to keep people from knowing that they don't
>know the answers.
yeah, and when they hide, it's an empty kind of evidence that they don't know what the hell is going on.
>>naturally, it doesn't work like that. but the ego is a
>I agree. I've been cautious not to become too ego-centric
>and I try to check myself often. I shy away from politics
>and promotions but seek to help lots of people from my
>corner. It's easy to become the judge and I am aware that I
>am in small company. I want to be for the people but
>sometimes leadership or clout takes you away from that.
That last sentence, i think, is part of what is keeping the black community from being more of a cohesive unit right now. But i'm still working through that assessment.
>Sometimes I spend too much time worrying about others
>instead of thinking of ways to move with the cheese. In my
>case cheese is a metaphor for my vision or sustaining my
>vision but I am not so focused that I miss that there are
>times when I need to listen and be led. So many people
>around me are campers who are desperate and looking to me
>for answers to help them maintain the status quo. I resent
do you have people around you that you think are knowledgeable enough to lead you? i know that probably sounds like it begs an arrogant answer; but it sounds like you have more energy suckers around you than role models or mentors.
May you be in love everyday for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world. ~Ray Bradbury
There was an artist...who was disposed to strive after perfection...As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him. ~Thoreau
4514, RE: yeah.|
Posted by Nettrice, Mon Jul-07-03 01:51 PM
>That last sentence, i think, is part of what is keeping the
>black community from being more of a cohesive unit right
>now. But i'm still working through that assessment.
For me the problem is when leaders spend their time trying to fit some standard rather than be true to themselves, the original reason/vision that got them started in the first place. It's easy to forget the people and be more concerned about image or acceptance (assimilation).
>do you have people around you that you think are
>knowledgeable enough to lead you?
A few but most are looking to me for guidance or they want to work with me. Not too many "leaders" inspire me right now. Instead they piss me off.
>i know that probably
>sounds like it begs an arrogant answer; but it sounds like
>you have more energy suckers around you than role models or
Absolutely! The one thing I do think I have is a peer network and that helps keep me energized and sane.
4515, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by Delete me, Fri Jul-04-03 11:22 AM
500 years ago 90% of people on this planet didn't know shit. nowadays, everybody is supposed to know everything. when will you guys realize that the concept of knowledge itself is a kind of oppression?
4516, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jul-04-03 12:16 PM
>everybody is supposed to know everything.
I don't think people can know everything but anyone can be open and aware. Access to knowledge should be about lifelong learning and growth. We are all unfinished to some degree.
>will you guys realize that the concept of knowledge itself
>is a kind of oppression?
Only when that knowledge has an end or a means to oppress.
4517, knowledge about where you stand|
Posted by Federisco, Sat Jul-05-03 07:57 AM
is a different knowledge than "scientific" knowledge, though.
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jul-04-03 12:22 PM
>"A willful neglect or refusal to acquire knowledge..."
>Any ideas about how to help people let go of fear and become
>more open to change?
This is my question. Activism is about action based on a social cause and in order to take action one must be able to have a bird's eye view in order to successfully strategize and sustain a mission or vision. If there's one thing the folks who are in charge of the system have is a sustainability plan. So many of us are not able to sustain action, so while various social movements have made inroads towards freedom, none have been able to shift the balance of power that seeks to control and dominate so-many people.
I mean how long can we use "programming" or conditioning as an excuse?
4519, we are easily distracted|
Posted by Belief, Fri Jul-04-03 01:15 PM
as soon as there is a large grassroots movements towards progress, we get hit with some diversion - war, for example. So when people were asking about the economy, about Fortune 500 companies tanking with CEOs who knew they were tanking, about the sex scandal in the Catholic church, others began asking, 'well, what about this war? how will it affect us?' And while those are legitimate questions, we slow down our progress towards change and improvement because of the diversion. All it takes is a picture of a missing child to be splashed across our television screens, or a new mysterious disease that no one's ever heard of, and the next thing you know, the movement comes to a grinding halt...hell, we even fall a few paces!
We need to improve on focus, on committing to finishing what we begin.
4520, well-stated, n/m.|
Posted by jvictoria, Sat Jul-05-03 11:33 AM
4521, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by urthanheaven, Fri Jul-04-03 04:50 PM
the tree of knowledge bears the fruit of ignorance.
i read this recently but couldn't place the source. i can understand it from several different angles though. one is arrogance. you are sooo sure you know. sloth, it's too hard to know any more and it would change what you already know so much you'd have to work to restore a semblance of inteligence to your person which leads to vanity, which is arrogance coupled with low self esteem. greed, you are in a position of power as long as no one knows you hae no idea what you're talking about, or you are hoarding knowledge for your own use and advancement. malice, this one crops up a lot from racists. they're too pissed off and worked up to see that they're being tricked and used themselves. and many more.
for me, i realized a while back that knoweldge itself was an illusion and very subjective. this has helped keep me open. but it's easy to fall into any of the traps above. and i am sure that i still do.
think on the whole flock of sheep thing and how we seem to be hardwired to follow the leader. like it's ok not to know as long as so and so knows.
i was just trying to point out that false knowledge is sometimes the foundation on which ignorance takes hold e.g. "i know ni**ers is inferior."
how do you help people open up to new ideas? start early. and capture their passion. perhaps speak in relation to their current situation so knowledge bridges the two worlds and does not superceed the the previous one. i'm a musician and technology as an extention of my musicality and art is most of what interests me. the skills from that i am able to apply to most other fields.
also many people in the service sector may not actually want to be there. it's just a job so to speak. so why would they want it to be any harder.
not that it's not worthwhile. to the contrary, if you can inspire these people, capture their imagination and inspire them to love their work and community more...
"According to the Rastafarians, the average Jamaican is so brainwashed by colonialism that his entire system is programmed in the wrong way. His response to the world is conditioned by unseen forces due to European acculturation, and can only be "loosened up" through the use of the herb. The use of the herb results in a true revelation of Black consciousness which brings about the proper love for the Black race. One's true identity can finally be experienced, along with the revelation that Haile Selassie is God and that Ethiopia is the home of the Black people."
4522, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by LK1, Sat Jul-05-03 02:38 AM
As complacent as our country has become these days, I personally see the only sources for an open mind through literature and art (underground music as well, but nothing on the radio). The problem is, our country is brainwashed by television and American media sources.
It's really just proof that Americans are no different than, say, the vast majority of Nazi Germany (during WWII) as proof that propaganda flat out works. So many people want so desperately to believe that this is the land of the free that when they see it on Fox and read about it in a government controlled media outlet, it immediately becomes a pseudo-fact in their minds. I know a ton of people like this, and when I discuss politics with them, I can tell they know there are some serious wrongs happening, but having and speaking out on this knowledge messes up their whole creepy successful-businessman-with-moderately-attractive-wife-and-2.8-children-reality-TV-bullshit planned out lives. It is really QUITE depressing, but I've managed to change a few minds simply through handing someone a book and saying, "you gotta read this."
A great book on the insanity of entertainment is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--one of my very favorites.
4523, See #12 n/m|
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 05:15 AM
4524, RE: Knowledge versus Ignorance|
Posted by konematic, Sat Jul-05-03 02:52 AM
What real benefit is there to knowledge over ignorance?
4525, Good Question|
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 04:49 AM
>What real benefit is there to knowledge over ignorance?
The best I can explain knowledge vs ignorance is through family. Quitters and campers stop climbing, while climbers keep going. What I realized as a kid was that I was happiest when I did my own thing and was able to keep learning, expressing myself and teaching. In my case, vision involved the production of information and knowledge, providing access and opportunities for people through arts and technology. I had to be open, emotionally aware, knowledgeable and prepared to handle change or adversity in order to feel free. Personal freedom is about being open to "knowledge", defiance of the status quo and determination to climb.
Freedom has everything to do with ethics, democracy and civic courage. A being that had all his/her personal needs met can become a productive individual. Otherwise, they are more likely to stagnate, engage in unethical activities, resist change and sink with the ship, so to speak.
--------Background (if you care to read more):
I've been unable to convince my father that education had any real impact over my life and since he is an extremely closed, stubborn, mostly uneducated man, he is unwilling to know anything about my accomplishments. He literally closes his ears and eyes. Last Easter I spoke to him by phone because his wife tricked me into calling him. He wanted to know why his daughters never called or visited him. He was in great emotional pain and only his wife knew about it.
See, my father figured that, as a Black man, he did not have a chance in the educational system, so he decided that school was worthless. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army only to discover that the Army was not place for a Black man. He went AWOL. He was 17 when I was conceived and he married my mother, a college educated intellectual. He became a postal worker and worked that job for over 30 years. He was bitter about working for The Man but needed to take care of his children.
My mother was a very bright, college bound, woman who loved education. She instilled that love into my sister and I, as she struggled to raise us on her own. She worked as a computer programmer so that we could have a good education and we excelled in our different paths. I spent a lot of time with my father in my pubescent years. He was proud of us but concerned because we were girls, Black girls. If the system was no place for a Black man, it certainly was hostile to Black women and he wanted us to finish high school, get married and have babies. College was optional. I was determined to do my thing and defy him because I had a vision.
In this case, knowledge is the ability to master your own personal goals, your own reality. There is no hope if you are conditioned to be a victim, a pawn of the system. Ignorance is fear and suffering. This is the life my father lived.
4526, Learned Helplessness|
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 04:52 AM
>In this case, knowledge is the ability to master your own
>personal goals, your own reality. There is no hope if you
>are conditioned to be a victim, a pawn of the system.
>Ignorance is fear and suffering. This is the life my father
This is the cycle my family lives.
4527, generational divide|
Posted by jvictoria, Sat Jul-05-03 11:38 AM
you touched on that a little bit, too, in talking about your dad.
my father is the same way, btw, and while i sometimes see his perspective as ignorance, i also see it as an overcompensation.
if you know the old system like the back of your hand and then, all of a sudden, later in your life, someone says to you "this is how it works now" i imagine it's very difficult to give up your old worldview -- the thing that you've built your life around for your whole life -- in order to grow.
growing is hard; complacency is easy. but being complacent and ignorant are not the same things. some people choose not to pay attention to knowledge but that doesn't make them ignorant of their options. it simply means that they're apathetic.
& who can judge/differentiate between apathy and ignorance?
it's like defining intelligence versus knowledge. there is a fine line.
4528, RE: generational divide|
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 01:36 PM
>i also see it as an
Not in my father's case. He was a violent, stubborn, opinionated man who based his whole life on being a victim. I am the only daughter who is still willing to have a conversation with him and that is because I am not afraid of him. I love him from a space of compassion. The rest of us are scared or they just don't give a damn, anymore.
>if you know the old system like the back of your hand and
>then, all of a sudden, later in your life, someone says to
>you "this is how it works now" i imagine it's very difficult
>to give up your old worldview -- the thing that you've built
>your life around for your whole life -- in order to grow.
That's for the campers and there are plenty of them. My supervisor is one of them. The last part is what gets me. I want to say, "You are bringing the ship down because you are unwilling to grow." But something in me stays me tongue and it's not just keeping a job. I have a feeling that my supervisor knows what I don't say and chooses not to climb even though it may mean his end. To me that's insanity.
>growing is hard; complacency is easy. but being complacent
>and ignorant are not the same things. some people choose not
>to pay attention to knowledge but that doesn't make them
>ignorant of their options. it simply means that they're
Complacency appears easy but I agree that there is a fine line between complacency and ignorance. After a while complacency becomes ignorance because they get left behind. The campers become the quitters.
Posted by Nettrice, Sat Jul-05-03 05:14 AM
"...we are not speaking here of that kind of truculent suffocation practiced by a despotic king on his subjects, by a feudal lord on his serfs, by a colonizer over those colonized, by the owner of a factory on the workers, or by an authoritarian state on its citizens. We are speaking of that invisible power of alienating domestication, which attains a degree of extraordinary efficiency in which I call the bureaucratizinf of the mind." - "Pedagogy of Freedom" by Paulo Freire
Real knowledge encourages lifelong learning, the capacity to constantly discover and engage in "the process of production generated by their own encounters with the world to avoid being simply a receptacle of what the teacher 'transfers' to them."
I recommend that ya'll read "Pedagogy of Freedom" by Paulo Freire even if you aren't a teacher because I think it explores what we call knowledge, what is an illusion and what is real.
4530, My man boosts Freire...|
Posted by dhalgren718, Mon Jul-07-03 02:51 PM
The way Catholics genuflect to the Pope and commies bow to Marx... ha.
His stuff is interesting. I sometimes get the feeling he's saying in three words what could be said in one; but I like what he's saying. Not everything, but some.
Your point on knowledge vs. ignorance:
Knowledge is not solely some memetic input, otherwise there are some booksmart motherfuckers who would be sitting atop some grand ziggurat of academica meritocracy... no. I think knowledge - and true embrace of it - is a garnering of wisdom to match the basic information. Objective analysis - or AS free of dogma as a person can get (no one is completeley immune). There has to be an acknowledgement of alien viewpoints, if not lightweight embrace – the paranoia and xenophobia has to be dispelled for it to work, I think.
I think to bridge this gap, there has to be a humble foundation. The resistance you experienced is similar to what my wife - a former public sector employee in Disaster Relief at Red Cross – encountered. The truth is, in a polito-social mechanism where people are jockeying for position, everyone's afraid of each other, it seems - of being usurped, shown up; etc. You've alluded to starting a separate organization. If you do, I hope you can curb all related egos.
As far as bridging the gap with a given community? That's really a matter of trust and delivery.
4531, RE: My man boosts Freire...|
Posted by Nettrice, Mon Jul-07-03 03:28 PM
I am not new to Freire but I am reading and understanding his writing differently. I'll never bow down to his stuff from the idol worship angle but I will reflect more on what freedom means as far as knowledge (Pedagogy of Freedom).
>There has to be an acknowledgement of
>alien viewpoints, if not lightweight embrace – the paranoia
>and xenophobia has to be dispelled for it to work, I think.
There are different stages of concern as it relates to knowledge access, acquisition and use of knowledge: Awareness, informational, personal, mastery, impact, collaboration, reflection/refocusing.
A lot of people think that after mastery it's over but learning and mastering is lifelong. To truly know anything it has to be practical, the person has to see an impact on his or her sphere of influence. They must use it, experiment, have experience to see positive change in themselves and others. It's at this point that someone can exchange ideas, discuss difficulties, etc. Also, the person can explore more advances levels or applications of the knowledge...be able to move with the cheese or deal effectively with change.
>You've alluded to starting a
>separate organization. If you do, I hope you can curb all
For me it keeps coming back to vision, sustaining my vision because I created it out of love.
Posted by CantCBob, Mon Jul-07-03 08:45 AM
I stumbled into this post thinking it was a CantCBob vs. Aquaman debate
"Eminem wants to go at Jay Z because everyone recognise Jay Z as the best in the game whether you faggots like him or not." The Source
"John Stockton, not just a great player, but one of the greatest stories of western civilization"--Bill Walton
Warning: This post will be immediately followed by one of my Okayplayer stalkers, either Dhlagren718 or LordVingtune
4533, adding to "fear of change"|
Posted by Nekaybaaw, Mon Jul-07-03 08:57 AM
....well i believe that most things are result
of fear. just plain ole regular fear.
fear and freedom
don't live in the same place.
fear of knowledge leads to fear of self and change
fear of God leads to fearing everything.
as youngins we are taught to fear God, parents etc....
"dont go outside
with no shoes on cuz you might get worms" FEAR FEAR FEAR....how many of us have heard something similiar.
well I tell you with all the conditioning of Fear
..Fear has us afraid of virtually every damn thing. and the
SAD part about it is we think this is the effective way of living. as youngins we are conditioned to do and not do
certain things out of fear. to this day they have become habit.
fear has a way of not letting us use our full brain potentials.
::daily reads..check for it::
::Reflection of Truth::
::Women in Hip Hop::
Posted by kid, Mon Jul-07-03 11:10 AM
The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance.
It is the illusion of knowledge.
Posted by LK1, Tue Jul-08-03 01:12 AM
wouldn't the illusion of knowledge be a form of ignorance...?
4536, RE: wait...|
Posted by kid, Tue Jul-08-03 05:05 AM
Yeah but it's the illusion that people will follow.
I think the same as you do, saying that it is a form of ignorance, but if I'm not fooling myself, I can't fool you.
Does that make sense????????
4537, RE: wait...|
Posted by LK1, Tue Jul-08-03 05:49 AM
Yeah, but I still think you're describing ingnorance... it doesn't matter.. we're on the same page and in the same direction.
4538, RE: wait...|
Posted by MystaJ, Fri Jul-18-03 12:36 AM
It is still ignorance, but there are some things people accept as knowledge. Due to the lack of true knowlege available, or hidden by a well reformed government. People can have the knowledge, but choose to live in ignorance because it is easier than fighting for what you know to be right.
your god or mine?
4539, RE: wait...|
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jul-18-03 01:17 AM
>but choose to live in ignorance
>because it is easier than fighting for what you know to be
Is that choice a free one, meaning from a free mind?