I know that knowledge sounds like /ˈnäləj/ but it begins with a /k/ so I’m using it here. Okay, technically it starts with a /kn/ because /kn/ makes the /n/ sound, but let’s not get all technical over here, okay? It’s what popped into my mind when I was thinking of /k/ words so I’m totally using it. No one said anything about how the word sounded, right? I mean, it’s just “Blogging from A-Z” and the very first letter of knowledge is a /k/, even if you can’t hear it. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. ^_^ Anyway, knowledge is a wonderful thing. Lack of knowledge is just sad. There’s a distinct difference, dear reader, between ignorance, which is the lack of knowledge, and stupidity, which is the inability to obtain and/or retain knowledge. Ignorance can be eliminated by reading and researching the area that one lacks the facts and or information in. Unless one wants to remain willfully ignorant (in which case, they will become stupid IMHO). And, as one comedian, Ron White said, “You can’t fix stupid”
Stupid is forever.
So this isn’t a dig on people who have learning disabilities. I have one myself. I can’t do math above a fifth grade level. I’ll *never* be able to do math above a fifth grade level. But you know what, dear reader? At least I know and acknowledge that about myself. I can work around that and get on with my life. I’ve done okay for someone who can’t divide long numbers or do simple geometry without some major mental acrobatics. I have difficulties remembering numbers or time. Like half the time, I don’t remember my age or the age of my kids (though ironically, this is getting easier as I get older… Ha!) I never remember anyone’s birthday. Like I kinda know that Doug’s birthday is in June… around the middle part. I never remember how much I paid for anything. Like honestly, I can’t tell you how much a cup of coffee at Starbucks costs, and I used to buy one every day when I was in college. If I want to know how long ago something was, I have to break out my calculator and
divide subtract years and hope I put in the correct numbers. I still can’t remember if there are 26 or 28 letters in the alphabet (I had to ask Doug). Having Dyscalculia isn’t easy, but it’s doable.
Anyway, I got sidetracked (because that never happens on this blog). Knowledge is a wonderful thing. And in this day and age it’s interesting how people obtain and use that knowledge. I was reading this article the other day about the prevalence of echo chambers in our online world and I found it to be rather interesting. Knowledge can be a powerful tool, and it can be wielded by some dangerous people in society. Of course, echo chambers are not a new thing — they’ve been around for quite some time. But the advent of the internet and social media have made forming them rather easy. And the platforms where anyone and everyone can air their opinions and call them “facts” (I’m looking at you Food Babe) make it so easy to spread misinformation. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to separate the wheat from the chaff.
This was a problem before the internet though. I mean whole books of misinformation were written and published for the honest layperson to read and absorb. I remember reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and in that book they talk about how the protagonist’s idea was born from information he obtained through debunked books written by philosophers and scientists before him. I invite you, dear reader, to go to the Project Gutenberg website and search through their database of older books (free to read) and look up any non fiction book (I personally like to read books on grammar). Much of what was “true” a century or two ago is totally not true today. And sometimes it was not true when it was written, it was merely the author’s opinion, but it was published as fact. Many of today’s books are the same, just as soooo many of today’s blogs and other media are — opinions presented as facts. It’s just that nowadays we have access to myriad sources, whereas before one had to go to the library or bookstore to seek knowledge — one book at a time. Now, it’s at the tip of our fingers — a search engine away… About 476,000,000 results (0.50 seconds) for one search. I mean, honestly, that’s a lot of results.
It’s up to us, dear reader, to discern what is opinion, and what is fact. And that’s not always an easy job. Because no matter how intelligent we like to believe we are… there isn’t a person in this world that knows everything about everything. And you can take that fact to the bank.