Flood Control

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Why Shallowness Scares Me

I have some misgivings about the current march towards collective intelligence and grouping with like-minded people. Nevermind for now that it's giving rise to dating services that split down party lines. I'm firmly of the opinion that conflict builds character - finding your weaknesses, and dealing with them, to me appears to be the way to learn how to deal with whatever life can throw at you.

"But Mr. Merus," you might say, "in this day and age one can never encounter something that will rock your world. Is it even necessary to learn how to deal with whatever life could throw at you when you'll probably never encounter it?" Which is a fair point, as I am a lazy lazy person.

The problem with that, though, is this: who ends up running the show? How does the democratic process deal with people who know lots about their own area but jack about anything outside of it? What about contentious issues for which there is no one right answer, like abortion? How about those issues where those who know nothing about it are nevertheless exceedingly interested in what happens, such as games legislation? How about issues where wisdom is more important than knowledge?

Is wisdom more important than knowledge? I would contend that, especially in cases where one keeps their areas of knowledge focused, wisdom is indeed more important than knowledge. It is impossible to avoid treading into uncharted waters at some point, and out there wisdom works where knowledge doesn't.

But then, I'm a fan of wisdom in general. Because I'm lazy, and I'd rather be able to extrapolate than to have to learn everything.

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