The Most Informed vs. the Least Informed

 

“…I used to think that it was the most informed people in America who were going to save the country. And I’ve started to think maybe it’s the least informed people in America who are going to save the country, because those of us who are the most informed are busy smacking each other across the head on a regular basis.” — Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro had an interesting interview with Glenn Beck, who came across as more likable than I often find him. Perhaps it’s that he’s selling a new book. But a worthwhile conversation.

What do you think?

I think that those who are informed but busy in a variety of life activities that do not involve outrage over the country’s problems are the best citizens.

There are 17 comments.

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  1. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Ben has said that before.  It is brilliant.  It is true.  It is the people that are busy working and parenting that tune in to politics at election time and remind everyone else what the priorities really are.  It is the Twits that confuse the trending outrage de jour as something that normal people care about.

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    DonG (View Comment):

    Ben has said that before. It is brilliant. It is true. It is the people that are busy working and parenting that tune in to politics at election time and remind everyone else what the priorities really are. It is the Twits that confuse the trending outrage de jour as something that normal people care about.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter.  It is the outrage of the twits that drives the conversation, and, to a certain extent, election results.

    • #2
  3. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Mama, I so agree with that.  The beauty of our system is that you can (or should be able to) go about your life, and who is running the government, who is your elected representative, who construct and direct policy, doesn’t matter to you.  I think that’s a wonderful thing.

    I agree with Beck’s comment that, if you’re contributing to or advocating chaos, you’re part of the problem.  With a caveat:  I have found it a great technique to engender chaos, and bet that me (and my team) could be triumphant competing (fighting) in a chaotic environment.  Many times, chaos has been my friend.

    Finally, I want to volunteer to be Beck’s personal trainer. 

    • #3
  4. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I agree with this, especially these days when too many are “informed” by faked polling figures and news reporting that’s skewed to the point where it’s a pack of lies and half-truths. The less of this kind of “information” the better for all concerned.

    • #4
  5. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    Ben has said that before. It is brilliant. It is true. It is the people that are busy working and parenting that tune in to politics at election time and remind everyone else what the priorities really are. It is the Twits that confuse the trending outrage de jour as something that normal people care about.

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter. It is the outrage of the twits that drives the conversation, and, to a certain extent, election results.

    Actually I think that because there are still over 5 weeks to the election, by the time the election occurs, people will be rather annoyed at the Democrats. Even right now, only after one week of their craziness,  the shrieking insistence that the world must end – or else – because some woman feels she almost got felt up by a guy 34 years ago only proves how  totally nuts the Dems are.

    I am enheartened that Grassley seems to get it, and while the Dems are annoying, we should remind ourselves  they are so annoying that they are self destructing. Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” states that an opponent should never interfere in the oppostion’s game plan, when that game plan will lead to the opponent’s demise. That advice should be taken to heart.

    • #5
  6. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Finally, I want to volunteer to be Beck’s personal trainer. 

    Seriously. He needs another chair for his tummy.

     

    • #6
  7. She Member
    She
    @She

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: I think that those who are informed but busy in a variety of life activities that do not involve outrage over the country’s problems are the best citizens. 

    Not only are they the “best citizens,” they are the folks who built this country, bless them.

    I think we could solve a lot of our problems by imposing policy in two simple words:  “term limits.”  And by returning to the idea that going to DC for government service is something that an elected official should do in addition to, not instead of, having a normal life of his or her own.  

    • #7
  8. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    I want to become less informed. For me, knowing what’s going on in the political world equals outrage and anger, which equals bad health and unhappiness. I now understand, as I really never did until now, the old saw “Ignorance is bliss.” 

    I have spent a lifetime being informed. I now need to find a hobby/obsession that can substitute for the time I habitually devote to keeping up with news. Otherwise, I fear I won’t stay around long enough to soak the next generation through Social Security.

    • #8
  9. Michael Brehm Coolidge
    Michael Brehm
    @MichaelBrehm

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    I have found it a great technique to engender chaos, and bet that me (and my team) could be triumphant competing (fighting) in a chaotic environment. Many times, chaos has been my friend.

    “Plans are all right sometimes … And sometimes just stirring things up is all right – if you’re tough enough to survive, and keep your eyes open so you’ll see what you want when it comes to the top.” -Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I agree with this, especially these days when too many are “informed” by faked polling figures and news reporting that’s skewed to the point where it’s a pack of lies and half-truths. The less of this kind of “information” the better for all concerned.

    That, and twitter posts are not news, and they do not represent actual opinion on a broad scale – only the opinion of those who post, and who knows how many tweets are made by bots?

    • #10
  11. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Unfortunately the least informed people receive their information passively by osmosis and can be misled by the drum beat of universal spin on the media.  If they manage to ignore all media, don’t watch TV and just go about their lives, they’re less mis informed than the “most informed”.  The so called most informed, i.e. smart most educated folks tend to top of the list of misinformed, because they use the abstractions they were taught in schools  to select the information that fits into their abstractions, moreover they’re more likely to be open to universal spin because it comes in familiar and comfortable packages.  The distinction is important because being uninformed, while better than mis informed is not to be celebrated.  Of course the super bright highly educated from the best schools tend to be error prone because they think they know more than they do, and while they may know more than most people, they tend to overestimate how much they know and are frequently unaware that the most important information when it comes to public policy issues and politics, doesn’t even exist, nor can it.

    • #11
  12. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Unfortunately the least informed people receive their information passively by osmosis and can be misled by the drum beat of universal spin on the media. If they manage to ignore all media, don’t watch TV and just go about their lives, they’re less mis informed than the “most informed”. The so called most informed, i.e. smart most educated folks tend to top of the list of misinformed, because they use the abstractions they were taught in schools to select the information that fits into their abstractions, moreover they’re more likely to be open to universal spin because it comes in familiar and comfortable packages. The distinction is important because being uninformed, while better than mis informed is not to be celebrated. Of course the super bright highly educated from the best schools tend to be error prone because they think they know more than they do, and while they may know more than most people, they tend to overestimate how much they know and are frequently unaware that the most important information when it comes to public policy issues and politics, doesn’t even exist, nor can it.

    Actually the super bright highly educated  are trained in a specific specialty, which is for the overall good in terms of that specialty but is no guarantee of their viewing a non-specialty related problem in a way that leaves them open to the best solution.

    I mean, you and I are happy if we need a brain surgeon and we end up with a guy or gal who is really honed in on the specialty. But that doesn’t mean the brain surgeon is any less  likely as the next person to fall into faulty thinking when dealing with political realities.

    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    • #12
  13. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    @caroljoy, VDH said something to the effect of “many people with advanced degrees/pedigrees have no respect for the high school grad that can disassemble, set the timing on, and reassemble their carburetor, even though they cannot do that themselves.

    • #13
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    @caroljoy, VDH said something to the effect of “many people with advanced degrees/pedigrees have no respect for the high school grad that can disassemble, set the timing on, and reassemble their carburetor, even though they cannot do that themselves.

    Fastest way I’ve ever seen to clear a room of a bunch of PhD’s and graduate students, intellectual giants all, is to start talking about birthing difficulties with sheep, and the steps necessary to avert, deal with, or clean up after, them.  Works every time. 

    There’s a reason that when the Lady of Shalott stopped viewing “shadows” in her mirror, and she turned around to look out the window at an actual, real live man, in an actual, real place, her mirror of unreality cracked, and she was doomed.  Tennyson wasn’t wrong.  Lovely poem.  About the truth, as is most great literature.  Some folks just can’t handle it.  And many who teach it just can’t see it.

    PS:  I often think of the Fair Maid of Astolat when I see the youth of the world ignoring what, and who, is all around them, in favor of a life lived online and via social media, inside the latest “device,” which they are constantly staring into.  That’s why I like the closing sentence of this post so much.  Those with real lives don’t have to live in the shadow world.

    • #14
  15. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    She (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    @caroljoy, VDH said something to the effect of “many people with advanced degrees/pedigrees have no respect for the high school grad that can disassemble, set the timing on, and reassemble their carburetor, even though they cannot do that themselves.

    Fastest way I’ve ever seen to clear a room of a bunch of PhD’s and graduate students, intellectual giants all, is to start talking about birthing difficulties with sheep, and the steps necessary to avert, deal with, or clean up after, them. Works every time.

    There’s a reason that when the Lady of Shalott stopped viewing “shadows” in her mirror, and she turned around to look out the window at an actual, real live man, in an actual, real place, her mirror of unreality cracked, and she was doomed. Tennyson wasn’t wrong. Lovely poem. About the truth, as is most great literature. Some folks just can’t handle it. And many who teach it just can’t see it.

    PS: I often think of the Fair Maid of Astolat when I see the youth of the world ignoring what, and who, is all around them, in favor of a life lived online and via social media, inside the latest “device,” which they are constantly staring into. That’s why I like the closing sentence of this post so much. Those with real lives don’t have to live in the shadow world.

    I have read very little Tennyson, so now I will definitely check him out. And thanks for the link. (Although I was heavily into the PreRaphaelites, and those who spun off from them, like the art deco crowd much later.)

    I might have mentioned this earlier, but in case you didn’t see the remark:

    I was debating a Bernie supporter about some aspect of modern life. And I was making some good points. But I saw a light bulb go on in their brain. Only they looked as if they were searching for a faerie-daemon emoji to descend, maybe the emoji of “debating.” Apparently they simply didn’t know how to go about constructing a reply without texting it.

     

    • #15
  16. She Member
    She
    @She

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    @caroljoy, VDH said something to the effect of “many people with advanced degrees/pedigrees have no respect for the high school grad that can disassemble, set the timing on, and reassemble their carburetor, even though they cannot do that themselves.

    Fastest way I’ve ever seen to clear a room of a bunch of PhD’s and graduate students, intellectual giants all, is to start talking about birthing difficulties with sheep, and the steps necessary to avert, deal with, or clean up after, them. Works every time.

    There’s a reason that when the Lady of Shalott stopped viewing “shadows” in her mirror, and she turned around to look out the window at an actual, real live man, in an actual, real place, her mirror of unreality cracked, and she was doomed. Tennyson wasn’t wrong. Lovely poem. About the truth, as is most great literature. Some folks just can’t handle it. And many who teach it just can’t see it.

    PS: I often think of the Fair Maid of Astolat when I see the youth of the world ignoring what, and who, is all around them, in favor of a life lived online and via social media, inside the latest “device,” which they are constantly staring into. That’s why I like the closing sentence of this post so much. Those with real lives don’t have to live in the shadow world.

    I have read very little Tennyson, so now I will definitely check him out. And thanks for the link. (Although I was heavily into the PreRaphaelites, and those who spun off from them, like the art deco crowd much later.)

    I might have mentioned this earlier, but in case you didn’t see the remark:

    I was debating a Bernie supporter about some aspect of modern life. And I was making some good points. But I saw a light bulb go on in their brain. Only they looked as if they were searching for a faerie-daemon emoji to descend, maybe the emoji of “debating.” Apparently they simply didn’t know how to go about constructing a reply without texting it.

    I’m very fond of aspects of the Pre-Raphaelites, although some of them were quite odd folks.  My hometown of Birmingham in the UK has strong Pre-Raphaelite connections, and the cathedral has the most beautiful Burne-Jones windows:

    Birmingham Museum also has an extensive P-R collection.

    • #16
  17. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    She (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    And as you state, they do tend to over-estimate how to deal with problems that are not related to their usual field.

    @caroljoy, VDH said something to the effect of “many people with advanced degrees/pedigrees have no respect for the high school grad that can disassemble, set the timing on, and reassemble their carburetor, even though they cannot do that themselves.

    Fastest way I’ve ever seen to clear a room of a bunch of PhD’s and graduate students, intellectual giants all, is to start talking about birthing difficulties with sheep, and the steps necessary to avert, deal with, or clean up after, them. Works every time.

    There’s a reason that when the Lady of Shalott stopped viewing “shadows” in her mirror, and she turned around to look out the window at an actual, real live man, in an actual, real place, her mirror of unreality cracked, and she was doomed. Tennyson wasn’t wrong. Lovely poem. About the truth, as is most great literature. Some folks just can’t handle it. And many who teach it just can’t see it.

    PS: I often think of the Fair Maid of Astolat when I see the youth of the world ignoring what, and who, is all around them, in favor of a life lived online and via social media, inside the latest “device,” SNIP . That’s why I like the closing sentence of this post so much. Those with real lives don’t have to live in the shadow world.

    I have read very little Tennyson, so now I will definitely check him out. SNIP(Although I was heavily into the PreRaphaelites, and those who spun off from them, like the art deco crowd much later.)

    SNIP

    I was debating a Bernie supporter about some aspect of modern life. And I was making… points. But I saw a light bulb go on in their brain. Only they looked as if they were searching for a faerie-daemon emoji to descend, maybe the emoji of “debating.” Apparently they simply didn’t know how to go about constructing a reply without texting it.

    I’m very fond of aspects of the Pre-Raphaelites, although some of them were quite odd folks. My hometown of Birmingham in the UK has strong Pre-Raphaelite connections, and the cathedral has the most beautiful Burne-Jones windows:

    Birmingham Museum also has an extensive P-R collection.

    You are the first non academic human I have mentioned Pre Raphaelites to, who knew whom I was speaking about. But then you reveal you hail from Great Britain, so I guess that explains it.

    They really were an odd bunch, but I felt some deep connection to them. I am not able to explain that connection. Anyway your lovely analogy of the current group of young people and how attached they are to their device world resonates with me.

    • #17
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