Our society (it is not news) is in a conundrum. While I believe it is partly what our professor said about our society being anti-intellectual, I have to also highly disagree, because at the same time, we are (as she also stated earlier) discriminating against the unintelligent. We view success in knowledge. Knowledge is power and this is our construct. Sure, we ultimately also fear it in an anti-intellectual sense. But, we operate within it full throttle.
The idea that the know-it-all causes a problem for society not unfounded. But the reverse approach has not yet been considered. Answer #1: Make everyone feel intelligent, create an intelligent delusion. “Stuff them so full of facts, they feel like they’re thinking”, as Beatty said. Maybe this is indeed what we are doing (with less intent and malice). Rather, we do it ignorantly and blindly believing that we are achieving knowledge. So our answer, answer #2, is knowledge is power, reason is highest value. This is the goal. You don’t necessarily have to reach it. We’ll put all sorts of anti-discrimination laws and ideas around to counteract being uneducated. But the key to happiness is knowledge.
Well, now that I just wrote that I guess I’m not sure that is actually what we do. I think what I just said sounds more like Beatty. We do that and don’t know it. I guess bottom line is we have a warped sense of knowledge. It is a sense that is so wrapped up in our own ego that we think we have full knowledge just by learning what we want to know. This is an individualistic ideal to the extreme, to the exclusion of everything that is not me.
What I am trying to steer towards is humility. I’m trying to connect the quote of not “hiding your ignorance”. If we fear anything in this society it is being wrong or being ignorant. Does a society like Beatty’s produce this kind of thinking? They seem to be satisfied with their facts and no one seems to be seeking knowledge at all. No one is holding it over anyone. But in our society we do the same accumulating of facts in order to hold it over someone. Not even true why knowledge to hold over people, but how knowledge, stupid facts and statistics about which we complain and fool ourselves into contentedness.