Thursday, August 4, 2016

Smart is as Smart does

Access to information is more readily available to more people than ever in the history of time.   Reliable information as well as pure malarkey (what I can use the word too) out there, for most the world with just a few clicks on a keyboard.

Yet increasingly we have seen a push for what is politely called anti-intellectualism and I call if we keep them uninformed they will follow.   This is not a new tactic.  Information and education have always been closely guarded and parsed out.  Religion has been great at this tactic and as usual religion and power are closely tied together, so those supporting said religion have encouraged this throughout the ages.  I do not want to use the word stupid because that implies a lack of ability to process no no I am going with ignorance. 

In previous eras religion and rulers were able to keep people uninformed by not giving them access to literacy and written documents.  Today they have found they could this through memes, websites and the old fashioned threat that it is Evil to be educated and embrace philosophy, science, knowledge or admire those that do.  
If you are a history buff, like me, you see that reading was kept from the masses for many years, the printing press through a wrench into that plan when handwritten, guarded manuscripts could not be produced and disseminated on a machine, literacy still lagged behind but all you need to plant a seed for knowledge was say one or two people who could now read the things.  In the Dark Ages the powers that be were afraid of the power of the Enlightenment movement.  In current day only certain people are still allowed access to scriptures within their religions (yes that would be most - need to do more research but even believe Buddhist monks fall into this, see full disclaimer I did not know everything).

We have terms for smart people and they are often derogatory, we do embrace the successful smart people of the world but is that for their smarts or their financial success? We reward physical beauty and strength financially and with power but do most of us know the names of the folks who invented rocket fuel, cures for diseases, the people's names behind some of the more successful apps?

I am not a conspiracy buff, hey among ten people a secret (never mind a plot) is hard to keep imagine that times a lot of people, but this is not a conspiracy.  It is not funny to applaud people who wear their ignorance like a badge of honor, it is not good to deny what is plainly demonstrated scientific fact because it is inconvenient to a belief and most of all it is ok to question science and other sources in a way to get clarity.

I am a mother of two growing boys in a world where they do not have to go to the library, pull out a little drawer, understand how the decimal system for book shelving worked, deal with that smell of those cards, only during the times a library is open to have access to educate themselves.  They should learn to be proud of the knowledge they seek and find.  It is so much easier to make a people frenzied and divided when you are the source of their information, but today unlike in previous eras we do not have just the people at the podium or in the media telling us their version of the truth we can research for ourselves, we are that smart as a people.  


Knowledge is power and as a mother, a voter, a person I will battle anti-intellectualism in any way I can because I believe in the possibilities that people can have not the small mindedness of those who want to keep them from that potential.

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