Ignorance is not stupidity.

Confusing ignorance with stupidity is one of the most common mistakes in American thought.

That is, among everyday people.

It is also one of the crucial elements that we have to fight against, because, ironically, avoiding the first leads to the second.

For those who don’t know, ignorance is simply being unaware of something. Being stupid would be disregarding information when making decisions.

Take this often-copied Far Side cartoon. If someone was ignorant, they would not be able to see the label on the door.

The irony (and amusement) from the cartoon is from the stupidity of the person pushing when it clearly says “pull” and it’s a school for “the gifted”.

I believe there’s been a deliberate effort to confuse the two.

The reason is simple: If you make people think that “ignorance” is somehow “stupid”, people won’t want new information. And if they do get new information, they’ll be hostile to the person sharing it.

Apply to our current political situation cough fox news cough as appropriate.

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