Ignorance = Knowledge

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Sometime today I came across this magnificent quote by Isaac Asimov:

"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

My ignorance is as good as your knowledge. Wow, that hit hard on so many levels. Even though the article this quote comes from was published in 1980, it feels more relevant now than ever.

Truth is dead, as I wrote almost three months ago. But that doesn't mean knowledge is dead. It's still right here, alive. But knowledge has been always hard to assimilate; not everyone will possess it, and that's especially observable right now.

It is in our innate nature that not all of us will be able to understand, debate, and verify facts, whatever that means these days. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't be teaching kids how to think logically, but it means that we can't trip over that one guy who still believes 5G causes COVID. There are more important things to do.

One side of this rotten equation can be always understood, though: ignorance.

Ignorance is the complete denial of all facts, all logical thinking, and all attempts to verify them. While ideal knowledge is 100% facts, ignorance is 0% facts. So, even while we can't be certain that we possess all the knowledge, we can easily spot the ignorant person.

Don't waste your time arguing with a rock.


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