A to Z Challenge 2013

Monday, April 11, 2011

A To Z - Ignorance

Today's A To Z is something I talk about from time to time with co-workers.  It's the concept of Ignorance.  See, in my day job I see a great deal of Ignorance.  I'm an IT guy, and by the very nature of my job, I've had to learn a lot.  Understand that I'm not bashing my customers, nor is Ignorance a foul term.  In my mind, Ignorance is merely the lack of knowledge.  Ignorance is really just not possessing that key bit of information that would otherwise make a person more capable in whatever endeavor they are attempting.

One of the enjoyable tasks I have been able to do is run training classes.  I really like to teach others all about the little tricks available to them in the computing world.  From keyboard shortcuts to right-click menus, there is a wealth of information that most people are completely unaware of.  Either they have been too busy to explore their computing environment or they are just used to doing things a certain way.  When you show them an easier way to accomplish a task however, the positive response you get is really rewarding.  It's not that they were incapable of doing things that way before - they just possessed a little bit of computing Ignorance that some key training can banish instantly.

Now this guy Ignorance has a cousin that goes by the name Stupidity.  Here is where I have a difficult time dealing with things.  See, I'm fairly tolerant and even accepting of Ignorance, but I absolutely cannot abide Stupidity.  Stupidity is when you know how something should be done but you consciously choose to ignore what your brain is telling you and take the darker path.

Take wearing a motorcycle helmet, for example.  I've heard all the arguments about freedom, about not being forced into the constrictions of laws, etc.  And I can completely understand and relate to that ideal.  What it boils down to for me however, is the immutable fact that if a person's head makes contact with the pavement, it is almost a certain guarantee that there will be damage (and not to the pavement).  If there is a helmet surrounding that head, common sense tells you that 99% of the time, there will be less damage to the head.  The greatest show of Stupidity IMHO is those riders who go through the effort to purchase a helmet and then strap it to their bike as they ride away.  Now what the hell would possess you to purchase the helmet if you aren't going to wear it?  I know I'm one of the few motorcycle riders who choose to wear a helmet, but I figure if I can't abide Stupidity in others, I sure can't practice it myself.

I could go on and on with examples of Stupidity, but I'm sure everyone knows exactly what I'm talking about.  Suffice it to say that Ignorance isn't necessarily a bad thing whereas Stupidity definitely is.  And yes, the whole helmet thing is one example of Stupidity that just grates on my nerves.

Oh, and the cat picture?  I just thought he looked awesome under that cool helmet LOL.

How do you deal with Ignorance when you find it?  Do you distinguish between Ignorance and his more evil cousin Stupidity?


mooderino said...

Don't forget cousin Incompetent. Been working at their job for years, still havw no idea what they're doing.

salarsenッ said...

Hah...mooderino has a major point. That's great.

Yes, I distinguish between the two. Dealing with them...ignorance, I try and see where 'it' is coming from and not judge. If ignorance is just stupid, I look the other way.

Eric said...

Mooderino - Great point. We have quite a few people here that fall into that category.

Salarsen - I understand what you're saying but I struggle with looking the other way. I guess stupidity really grinds my gears. LOL

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

The cat looks like he's ready to sing opera. ;)

I've read that there are different levels of ignorance. When people are first learning skills, they tend to think their performances are better than they actually are. It takes some knowledge to realize just how ignorant you are. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's an excellent definition of stupidity.

Eric said...

Alex - Heh heh, thanks. It was off the cuff but I think it applies pretty well.

WindyA said...

I think you said it best in showing that Ignorance is NOT Stupidity. IMO Ignorance sometimes is a lack of opportunity for knowledge - or they just haven't encountered the chance to learn what they need to know. Stupidity is a choice.

DEZMOND said...

we hate ignorance and tend to ignore it when possible, but we do love naughty kitties like the one in the pic :)