Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Fortress of Ignorance

The proudly incurious throughout history
Stand in opposition to the experts of the age
The manifold flavors of their ignorance
Counterpoints to the textures of knowledge

Forget the hedgehogs and the foxes, they'll say,
Can't you see? We are forging our own reality
Never mind the hubris, the paradox of the day:
Their tribe often seem to be in ascendancy

That the lack of shame opens the way for the ignorant
   is the core insight
Where scoundrels prosper freely,
   the useful idiot has firm ground on their side
Observe well, the emperor's new clothes
   contra the evidence of your own eyes
Later narratives will rebrand those moments as frothy hysteria
   instead of common lies

And therein lies the dilemma,
   there is a tax to confronting the ignorant
A burden even beyond the avoidance of conflict
   that simian politeness demands
Humanity is not so far removed from ignorance,
   nay it's our default state
What more to be perceived as a killjoy stickler,
   most would rather shrink from debate

Badged with unshakeable convictions
   and certainties based on gut feel
It's a wonder to behold their impregnable armor,
   call it shameless steel
Mankind's sole weapons, volleys of ridicule
   and the attrition of experience
And deep focus to expose their folly:
   their Achilles heel is incompetence

urban decay

Knowledge may have its purposes, but guessing is always more fun than knowing.

— Archaeology by W.H. Auden

Soundtrack for this note

See also: A Taxonomy of Useful Idiots

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Writing log: November 7, 2021

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