Human Ignorance and the WAG

Posted on September 12, 2018. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Humans are enamored of themselves, what with being the Crowns of Creation and the Smartest Things since the invention of Time.  If you are doubtful of that, just ask one of those supreme Smart Dudes wearing a name tag certifying that he* is EXPERT in something or other. He will tut-tut the pathetic displays of ignorance uttered by the Great Unwashed** all around him and, authoritatively, lift himself above such banality. He will haughtily wave it all off and deny that ignorance…

  • is humanity’s (and his own) birthright,
  • is humanity’s life force,
  • is the glue in humanity’s interactive socio-economic existence,
  • is irrevocably humanity’s destiny, and, that
  • the basis of humanity’s proclaimed preeminence is rooted in ignorance.

At birth, our bodies know more than our minds about what is going on; stimulate the lips with a warm, spongy thing and our lips reach out and clamp down on the offering. Vigorous sucking action is rewarded by introduction of food or a satisfying placebo effect. Our minds, playing catch-up, finally connect the sequence into a cause-effect routine.  Thusly, iota upon iota, ignorance is replaced with knowledge that Mind can build on.

As we play the Game of Life, it seems that, at every crossroad, ignorance greets us with a sardonic smile. Previous experience with similar problems allows us to continue our journey with little or no interruption.  Culturally instilled guides — like traffic controls in our communities — keep us moving along. At other times, situations produce more questions than solutions…  an unmarked intersection with fast-moving traffic as it were. Our stumped Minds, trying to make sense of these intellectual potholes, ask, “W… T… F...?”  This conundrum may be voiced aloud with much gusto or quietly entertained mentally.

For instance, that mandate to all life, “Go forth and multiply.” As every adolescent newbie can attest, it’s a major WTF? moment, what with new body developments and very distracting new urges. Unfortunately, adolescent information sources are most often other newbies who have discovered that, if you just sound like you know about stuff, your just-as-ignorant contemporaries will look to you as a knowing mentor. Instant social status can be attained by dispensing a plausible-sounding wild ass guess (WAG)…

…a lesson not lost on any of us. (That appraisal applies to every college-degreed Smart Dude looking to expand on his career or increase his celebrity status.)

“What the f…?” is the banner under which each of us struggles through Time. If we do not know (i.e., are ignorant of…) something, and need to clarify it, we often just make up a wild ass guess to please our egos and/or hide our resident ignorance. Or we just accept someone else’s WAG on the subject and parrot the words so we sound as knowing as the original parrot. Depending on the degree of your audience’s gullibility, a plausible WAG can save face, and, embellish your personal social standing.

A well-crafted WAG reduces the chances of being caught in gross ignorance. Spicing it up with technical or other complicated facts from other areas of accepted knowledge can give your WAG a very long life before it gets deep-sixed as total baloney (think flat Earth WAG, Earth as center of  solar system WAG, 6,000 year old Earth WAG, rotting meat creates flies WAG, blah-blah-blah ad infinitum). The WAG pedigree is as old as humanity.

Not to be forgotten is that bane of adolescent promiscuitychildren get born only to married couples. “SURPRISE, unmarried teenaged parents.  Playtime is over; life just became a very serious business.”

Being first-time parents, you realize you don’t know a lot of things. Your ignorance will stimulate the economy by your purchase of How To Books on childbirth and child care, the right bottles, formula preparation, the correct training toys, and seemingly endless expenditures for diapers and such. And, lots of pediatric visits until the kid learns it can’t put everything into its mouth. As a group, ignorant parents provide an income for a lot of providers.

High school graduates want to get a good-paying job, but, know nothing about the jobs they want. College tuition is paid to replace ignorance with (presumed) knowledge, and, those payments pay the teachers and administrators, thereby economically stimulating the educational sector.

You have irritable bowel syndrome and dandruff flakes; you are overweight and dateless. Cheer up. Just binge-watch your television for 24 hours, and, solutions to all of Life’s ills are laid out before you, and, they are only a single telephone call away from fulfillment. Or, only an office visit to your doctor. Again, your state of abject ignorance will rain money upon your chosen WAG providers.

Whatever your age when you exit Life, you will have acquired a huge store of WAGs that formed the backdrop for your perception of Reality. WAGs thrust upon you by your tenth birthday have faded in the glare of more plausible WAGs dispensed by acclaimed Smart Dudes and your own life experiences. The fact is, we were born into, and live in, a universe of infinite ignorance. Consequently, each of us dies holding the very same amount of ignorance with which we were born.

Making sense of Life’s journey seems like a worthwhile pursuit, but, mostly…

ALL WE CAN DO IS STRAP OURSELVES IN AND ENJOY THE RIDE.

____________________________________

*An 18th century appraisal by Elite Society about the character of the non-elite.

**I am not being sexist. It seems to me that males seem to posture and boast far more than females.

 

 

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Naked and Clueless

Posted on January 18, 2016. Filed under: Journalism, Religion, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What follows are my opinions.  Since they are free (except for the all-inclusive price of admission), let’s call this an exercise in free speech.

None of this stuff is sanctioned by the AMA, ADA, AKC, ROTC, DOD, BSA, GSA, NRA, NSA, WB A, WWE nor any other organization relying on a bowl of alphabet soup to describe its purpose.

Source material for this lamentation is directly attributable to decades of indoctrination by”experts” who describe how things in this existence really work and how far off the mark my life has been.   In spite of that derived sense of personal inadequacy resulting in an intense need for psychological self-flagellation, I finally figured out they use an expert mixture of no more than 1 part actual observation and no less than 4 parts personal bias (more if the subject is convoluted) all of which is tinged by their self-interests and the need to mark intellectual turf.  It’s that self-serving stuff that has finally inflamed my gullibility node.

Here are just a few flakes from the snow-job “experts” have given me:

  • Cosomoligists.  “We can’t explain why our math is so far off, so we will call it Dark Stuff that no one can see, feel, or prove; fabricate more universes that no one can see, feel, or prove; install a power pack to pull our truckload of WAGs and call it Dark Energy which no one can see, feel, or prove; and add more dimensions to our universe that no one can see, feel, or prove.  With luck, we can cash those government and private grants (a.k.a., pay checks) before anyone can see, feel, or prove what we are up to, thereby showing that we are totally larcenous…   ignorant!” Honest, I meant “totally ignorant.”

 

  • Medical Researcher.  “We can’t explain it so we will say it was a gene what done it, and develop new drugs to correct things…   at least until the litigation attorneys get into the act.  With any luck, we can bank those government and private grants (a.k.a., pay checks) before anyone proves us totally ignorant.
  • General Practitioner.  “I don’t know what you got, but, just for giggles, let’s call it a virus.  Take this stuff I am writing on this prescription pad.  If it don’t work in a couple of days, come back in and we’ll try something else.  Of course, there will be another office visit fee, and, if complications result from this random mix of drugs before we run out of guesses, we’ll send you to a specialist.  He will use bigger words than “virus” and add a surcharge for the larger vocabulary use.
  • The Religionist.  “Vote in the next election the way I have told you.  If you contribute enough, I will see about your reservation in Heaven and send you a prayer mat (or something such) personally autographed by God.  And, for Pete’s sake, would you quit squirming while I feel up your thigh?”
  • Journalists/Media.  Those organizations controlled by government parrot whatever party-line they have been fed.  Those controlled by special interests tell you whatever they think you want to hear.  Those operating under the “freedom of the press” provision of free governments do very little objective reporting…   yellow press, paparazzi-ism, on-line “reporting” with salacious lead-ins to trick you into clicking on ads, surreptitious insertion of secret programs into your computer’s operating systems for scamming purposes…  Yeah, I’m pretty sure the world we perceive is the product of power-moguls and the money grubbers.

This culture of expert opinion has taken on the mantle of Accepted Authority and aspires to the status once held by Religionists in the days of Galileo — that of supreme Authority; hey, when THOSE boys told you to go to hell, they were poker-faced serious.

EVERY expert-for-a-fee-or-fame who ever lived started life just like everyone else:  naked, clueless, and in bad need of schmucks (i.e., gulliable marks) to feed its chosen schtick…   uh, career choice…   for their personal survival.

We, the general public (a.k.a., the Great Unwashed) wear virtual t-shirts that read:

“SCHMUCKS ARE US”

This schmuck is kicking up a fuss ‘cawz the damn t-shirt is the wrong size…   and it chaffs.  Obviously, it was not hawked under the banner of Duluth Trading…   who will be totally surprised by this unrequested mention.

 

 

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The Taming Of The Truth

Posted on June 24, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7th in the series The Great Cluster Fu...   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day

  • milieu = surrounding environment              
  • WAG = wild ass guess (your acronym for the day)

Two quick notes here:

  1. I really hate to paint the following picture for you, but it has to be done.
  2. I was saving this for toasts in later posts, but, go ahead and get out that bottle of Georgia wine (from the country, not the state) and have that glass handy.  Use as needed like Tums or Alka-Seltzer to settle your stomach.

Okay.  Here we go —

Super Dan standing on the high ground, wide stance, knuckles turned against hips, elbows out, red cape gently billowing in the breeze.  Shoulders back, chin jutted forward in fearless challenge, eyes panning the landscape with a steely gaze (like a photo op for Superman, himself…  ?   Oh, no!  That will never do.  Instead of those blue tights, let’s make that a medium blue 3-piece suit.  If he insists, he can wear red boxers — just not on the outside.)  he assesses the playing field.  To his right, at his feet, an at-the-ready milking stool;  to his left, an upscale leather brief case dubbed “the bag of tricks.”  Ear buds firmly in place, iPod securely clipped to his belt, he listens to a chorus of adding machines singing out a soothing string of numbers punctuated here and there with dollar signs, and, way down there to the right, a decimal point.  Mightily, he wants this to happen.

Meanwhile, back on Earth…

  • His client is an ill soldier (WAG) who, ostensibly, contracted his malady as a result of his duty assignment during US combat operations.  He belongs to the military;  can’t sue them.
  • His client was working in close proximity to civilians on a project ordered by the US military in a war zone.  No money in suing individuals.
  • Those civilians were contracted by a US corporation…   a very large corporation.  It’s just that blasted “acts of war” thing, like garlic to a vampire (a competing blood-sucker) that keeps Danny Boy’s grasping fingers just out of reach.

But, what if…?  If only he could get that corporation relocated to an unprotected non-war zone, there might be possibilities for hooking up the old milk machine.  Bring ’em back to the good ol’ Litigation Nation where the juries really like to see the big ones fall.  Danny Boy perked right up;  the game is afoot!

Danny Boy’s salt shakers trembled with anticipation.  He realized he didn’t really need to relocate the mark corporation.  Consider the old drama class in high school — maybe college.  Like a theater production, the actors hold their places on stage while the stage hands drop a different scene behind them.  The script remains unchanged, but, the new background changes the context of the actions and dialogue.

EXISTING SCENE:  A shooting war in which events are a chess game between opposing military commanders who move their forces (troops, equipment, and civilian personnel) into places and situations based on operational requirements bound to operational time lines NOT predicated on CAREFULLY RESEARCHED SAFETY FACTORS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES.  These forces report resistance from, and other impediments to, the targeted objectives TO SPECIFIED COMMANDERS (i.e., they follow the chain of command).  In military operations, first ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE!  THEN report casualties and other loses.  Such is war.

THE DREAM SCENE:    What war?

Wow!  I repeat, WOW!   Danny Boy has some really big salt shakers.

Next up:  Truth.  Beauty.  Mud.  It’s in the eye

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigator, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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