After l’affaire Heffernan, I was curious to see what, if any, letters to the editor would appear in the NY Times. The Sunday Magazine printed two letters, both critical of Heffernan, which suggests to me, that there were very few, if any, supporters of Heffernan’s position (An aside: anyone know if the letters actually make their way to Heffernan? Just wondering).
I like this point:
If some bloggers sound desperate and strident, it’s possibly because even into the 21st century, only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution and one out of five believes the Sun revolves around the Earth.
We sound desperate and strident because dealing with this level of managed ignorance puts tremendously unnecessary stress on our ability to solve complex problems. Their viewpoint throws a wrench into the DIKW cycle, stopping it cold. They know what the answer is and want no further knowledge to be found.
Many people do not want any further understanding, they do not want any further knowledge to be created. So they use every trick to keep understanding from moving forward.
Science is all about understanding the world around us. It is always cranking the DIKW cycle, trying to get to knowledge, where an action can be taken, and eventually to wisdom, where the right action can be taken.
I tend to get upset with people who want to throw a wrench into the process we need to solve the complex problems around us. I am only human and even when I try, I can come off didactic, condescending and angry.
We need to crank the cycle rapidly and from many different angles; we need to synthesize a large amount of knowledge to get to wisdom. That is how will will solve the complex problems we have today.
People who willfully try to disrupt that process are threatening our ability to overcome so many hurdles and potentially could have huge ramifications on our ability to survive.
That is why I may sound desperate and strident sometimes. Too many people are actively working to prevent the discovery of knowledge so that they can stay comfortably inside their own Cargo Cult Worlds.
By doing so, they jeopardize the future for everyone. I have to do my best to prevent that, even though a lot of research indicates that it is very hard to get people to leave the luxurious walls of a Cargo Cult World for the unreasonableness of the Real World.
Image: Porshe Brousseau