Monday, September 13, 2010

The Most Dangerous Weapon

"Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories." - Arthur C. Clarke (of course he would say that- he wrote science fiction.

“But yeah, be yourself, even though no one has any idea what it means to be yourself. Like, whose self would I otherwise be being?” - John Green

“He just kept scribbling. He loved the scratching of pencil against paper when he was this focused: it meant something was happening.” - John Green

That last one pretty accurately describes my blogging. I am putting something into the world- something that's important to me. 

Cindy mentioned something in her recent post that reminded me that while I'm constantly pointing out why ignorance is bad, there's another side to the story that I haven't been talking about, and until yesterday (when I read the post) I wasn't even consciously aware of.

Which leads me to mesh together some of the more popular topics (according to my beloved stat feature) that I've talked about: ignorance and fear.

I fear ignorance. I'm terrified of both its personal effect on me (because what's more terrifying than something you don't know about?), and how it can be used against people. As my dad says in reference to my Starcraft playing, I'm a "very defensive person." I am about recognizing threats and combating them. Not so much about the actual attacking.

But if I fear ignorance so much...that means it's a weapon. The most dangerous weapon, I would wager, being someone who firmly believes there are many things worse than death. Nukes kill people. Ignorance is pre-revolutionary France government-- keeping from people what they could so easily have (applies to more governments than that, but that's the first example that came to mind). Needlessly depriving them of a better life. There's a certain quality of life below which I'd rather be dead. What that quality is, I have no idea, but I know it's there. I hope I never find out.

Ignorance is powerful.

Cindy used it in order to keep running. Not knowing how far she had to go enabled her to stick it out. It's incredibly useful in psyching yourself up to do something. That's an aggressive use for it. It's a good use for it. There's nothing in the slightest wrong with that. Yet imagine, if such a small-scale use can do so much, what can something bigger accomplish?

Here I am again, pointing out why we should fear it. The thing is, not only is it a dangerous thing to be a victim of, but it's also a dangerous thing to use when applied outside of one's own mind or friends/family who are well aware that you are keeping some knowledge from them. So if it's so difficult to (morally, according to my morals) use proactively, there's really not much left to do besides fear, recognize, and thwart. I'm sure you all, being the intelligent people that you are, can think of some counter-examples.

Also: my English teacher mentioned The Hobbit again today (AGAIN), saying that she read it when she was 10 and didn't get much out of it and that's why you should wait until high school to read Lord of the Flies. I read The Hobbit for the first time in 3rd grade (I'm not sure what I was *supposed* to get out of it), but I was familiar with the story since...kindergarten? Oh Dad. Thanks for telling me stories about things of which I was too young to enjoy/understand the actual content.

This will be a bottom-of-blog meme thing for the duration of the semester.

Hobbit references: 4

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