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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WTF: Wednesday The Second

Posted on June 17, 2013. Filed under: Humor, Nezza at Hella | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Your proverb for the dayIn the matter of laws, Murphy has a long arm.

Your words for the day:

  • broke (1) = not working; as in, it needs fixing
  • broke (2) = empty; as in, bank account or pockets
  • Yin-Yang = the see-saw twins of Tao, providing the balance we call “existence”
  • deja vu = “Oh, no!  Not again.”

Ineptitude is a trait of self-deficiency, and could easily be a descriptive summary of last Wednesday.  But, what to call it when things just seem to go wrong in bunches, a la this, my second, bad Wednesday in a row?  Celebrity jinx?  (…probably not, since I’m not a celebrity).  Stars just not lined up right?  (…something I wouldn’t know anyway, since I don’t have a telescope…   can’t read one either).  Or, is it the more generic and mundane duo of unfortunate coincidence and just plain BAD LUCK?  I suppose it could even be a cosmic balance thing between Yin and Yang.

Whatever it is, it’s all over the front of my tux.  Not that I am wearing a tux (or even own one), but, if I were (or did), it would be like white meringue on a black one or dark chocolate on a white one.  Either way, corrective action must be taken immediately.

Like everyone, I got a list of stuff that just gotta be done — they aren’t done yet, but they are on the list.  Scheduled stuff that will eventually be done and will make my life better — as soon as I stop procrastinating.  Unfortunately, as a coping aid, putting things off ’till later works only with the stuff that’s on your list.  If meringue or chocolate is suddenly smeared over your plan of inaction, it has to be cleaned up before you can resume your delaying tactics.  As a rule, it gonna cost ya.

Like that preventive maintenance to your one vehicle.  This Wednesday, that differential flush gets done.  My garage of choice jacked that baby up on the hydraulic lift, and, while suspended in the air, the case would be opened, drained, and filled with brand new heavy oil.  That would be the Yin of cosmic balance finally flowing in my direction…   at a cost of $150 plus tax and possibly some other hidden cost.  I can scratch one thing off my “gotta do” list.  Except that

Yang, the cosmic score keeper, showed up with his tally sheet and watched while the mechanic popped the lid off the differential case, drained the oil, then called ME out for a consultation:

  • “Sir,” said he to me, “your pinion seal at the front of the differential case is defective and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.  We don’t do that kind of work here, but, I am letting you know about it so you can get it fixed before it blows and damages the rear end.”
  • “And how much will that cost?” said I to him.  “Typically,” said he to me, “about $250.  They’ll open the differential case (draining the fluid I’m about to replace), drop the drive shaft to expose the pinion and seal.  They will replace the seal, reconnect the shaft, and refill the differential fluid — just like I am doing right now.”

I thanked him for the heads up and returned to the waiting room where I mulled a single implication:  I am about to pay $150 right now for a differential servicing that will be done again in 1 or 2 weeks when I replace the pinion seal.  Had the mechanic told me of the greater problem BEFORE he cracked the case and drained the fluid, I would have cancelled the service request and applied the $150 to the future work.

But, Yang — the balance to all things Yin — was not yet done with me:

  • The mechanic, waxing loquacious, noted further that the front and rear seals of the transmission showed the same weakness as the pinion seal.  “We don’t do that work, either.”
  • Within a monetarily challenged week of the above, Yang zapped two of my fairly new tires (under 20,000 miles) with sharp pointy things to the tune of major inconvenience and another $25 for plugs — and one will need to be replaced soon.

WTF?  When will Yin get his act together and show Yang how it is done?

Next up:  Hermit interrupted

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