I guess this would part 2 of my earlier sheeple rant. I just got to whine/bombast a bit to feel better and my dear reader(s) get to take the brunt (my wife gets tired of hearing me run over the same subject over and over (and over) again).
In case you are interested, this specific post was triggered by this particular article:
Ivy League’s meritocracy lie: How Harvard and Yale cook the books for the 1 percent
“We are credentializing a new elite by legitimizing people with an inflated sense of their own merit”
Not that it really matters, this has been bugging me for a while…
Really, I am asking for an explanation: how is it that the human species has advanced so far technologically yet is seemingly entirely populated by cretins, hooligans and charlatans? If I didn’t have to look at myself in the mirror, no doubt I would have turned to fleecing the sheeple decades ago, yet despite being a misanthropist for some reason I just can’t abide with the idea of taking advantage of these credulous idiots.
As discussed in my previous post (rant) I have developed this theory of the majority of humans being seekers of low energy locations with the occasional hill climber that scouts for new low energy locations (no doubt the selection of verbiage due to my past research into search and optimization). However, at least lately here in the US, it seems increasingly likely that if this theory does indeed have any validity the number of hill climbers must be vanishingly low as it seems that nearly ever individual I have interacted with (not to exempt myself; sadly I am human and as such share the species negative characteristics no matter how much I try to avoid it) has shown at least a predisposition to sheeple-ness and outright clueless idiocy when it regards reality. We, as individuals, seem determined to stick with a bad situation even when it is often trivial to change it. Eternal optimists hoping for the best? I note that in myself: here we are rapidly approaching the 48th month of effort on our greenhouse/pool when I recall quite clearly thinking that we could be done in a year or so. Right now my wife and I are in discussions for the next project and despite just minutes earlier complaining about my inability to accurately predict how long things will take, I catch myself confidently about to assert that the new construction will be done in less than 2 years, quite likely less than a year. What kind of moron keeps doing that? With all the evidence to the contrary personally experienced I still can’t help myself.
If I, as someone who has made it a largely life-long effort to be self aware and to consider alternative viewpoints on subjects even if I dislike them (unlike, say, what seems evidently largely the entire rest of the population (in the US for sure) that only hears information that confirms preconceived notions) find it nearly impossible to refrain from idiotic, contrary to reality statements, no wonder the average fellow human finds it nearly impossible. Once again, how did we manage to arise to our level of technology? The US has become remarkably anti-science, yet is slavishly addicted to technology (I used to consider them two sides of the same coin, but increasingly it is obvious, in the US anyway, that people think they can have the latter without learning about the former). Clearly people can produce complex things in total ignorance (the science behind Candy Crush takes a decade or more for an intelligent, interested person to learn, given a good basic high school education), yet that ignorance increasingly seems willful. People are actively choosing _not_ to know things (not just in politics, which seems crystal clear for the majority) even when knowing, by virtue of the Internet and the WWW, is practically trivial today. I freely admit that I call things ‘magic‘ when I am too lazy to take the time to understand something, but I believe I am doing so with a clear understanding of what I am missing (I do endeavor to understand some magic, though some, such as circuit diagrams, still elude me despite my efforts). The average member of the sheeple class (I am doing away with the caveat of ‘at least here in the US’ because it is tedious, but please read in that caveat whenever you see a sweeping reference), on the other hand, seems to revel in their unwillingness to even care about the underlying science of the technology they are so obsessed with.
Is it because I feel I am somewhat a renaissance man (I have been accused of such by others)? Because I feel that everyone _should_ understand basic science, technology, engineering and math? Perhaps I am that hill climber I babble about (though I have naught to show for my efforts to date) and care about nuclear energy, alternative fuels, molecular scale computer devices, orchids, weight carrying capacity of parallel strand engineered lumber, why fiberglass resin seems to gel earlier when exposed to fiberglass threads, pleasing women, raising a headstrong boy (to list a few; inspired by Robert Heinlein), perhaps I feel that is the human norm. I recall as a young teenager always thinking that people were always thinking and finding it rather astonishing to learn that my average peer seemed to spend no time thinking at all. ‘Thinking’ in this context is about learning new things, trying out new associations between concepts, hypothesizing and then testing, etc. Very slowly I came to realize that I was rare in that regard. Rare, though doesn’t automatically lead to any form of greatness (though, much like my stubborn insistence that our next construction effort will take a fraction of the time of past efforts, I optimistically think that such greatness is just a year or two away; e.g., my vanity patent efforts).
So what is with us? Why are we so intent on not knowing? We had good excuses generations ago, but those excuses are irrelevant today. Left, right, rich, poor, degreed, uneducated, woman, man, no one seems to be interested in learning things if they are the slightest bit outside their comfort zone. We routinely ignore information that goes against our preconceived notions to the point where we no longer recognize even the capacity to be wrong about even the most fundamental things. The next thing you will find is people denying gravity because it is inconvenient. It won’t stop them from suffering the consequences of jumping off the building, though. The ‘sad’ thing about nature is it doesn’t give a damn about how stupid we are.
OK, I seem to have got this angst off my chest, thank you all for your time and attention…