Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thought 223: The Contagiousness of Ignorance

Michel de Montaigne opined in his Essays that nothing was quite as contagious as ignorance. 

Ignorance breeds more ignorance through the simple laws of imitation, influence and group dynamics where it does not pay to be the odd one out.

What is ignorance? Ignorance, as the word suggests, means choosing to ignore what you can reasonably be expected to know, the information being widely available and accessible. 

However there have been and perhaps always will be those who, in their rebellion against the ignorance of their contemporaries, will go out of their way not to ignore novel information, however controversial and risky it happens to be for their lives and livelihoods.

Service to truth is said to be the hardest. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, according to Plato,
"no one is more hated than he who speaks the truth" 
the truth apparently flying in the face of conventional wisdom which is often ruled by methods of mass mind control - such as religion and money - and also facing the very real possibility of persecution by the powers of the day. 

Many a modern day conspiracy researcher and whistleblower comes to mind not to mention the classic examples of Socrates and Jesus.