Thursday, January 20, 2011

the widening dichotomy between the know-it-alls and know-nothings

A lot of attention is being paid right now to the dichotomy between the Haves and the Have-Nots, what with the recent tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts in public-sector services and the renewed increase in Wall Street bonuses, etc. But if you ask me, there's an even bigger dichotomy out there: the one between the Know-It-Alls and the Know-Nothings. Like, it just seems like there's a lot of very smart people right now, but meanwhile most people are getting dumber. For instance, Stephen Hawking - that guy's a genius! But the average American has no idea what he's talking about. Or Bill Clinton. Rhodes Scholar. And millions of Americans voted against him.

I think this dichotomy is huge, and getting bigger. It may be the biggest it's ever been since the Roman Empire, when the elite placated the masses with "bread and circuses" while they were absorbing all this knowledge and algebra and shit from Persia and whatnot. Does anyone else feel this way? I don't have any data; it's just a hunch. But at the same time, a damn strong hunch ...

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