When did ignorance become a viable policy??

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    When did it become an electable position to maintain that research and learning and fact-based decision-making was a bad thing?

    This country used R&D and learning to catapult itself into position as the world’s beacon of enlightenment. Why is that now inappropriate?

    From your House of Reps…

    “Mr. Cantor’s support for medical research is curiously limited. He’s all for developing new treatments, but he and his colleagues have adamantly opposed “comparative effectiveness research,” which seeks to determine how well such treatments work.

    What they fear, of course, is that the people running Medicare and other government programs might use the results of such research to determine what they’re willing to pay for. Instead, they want to turn Medicare into a voucher system and let individuals make decisions about treatment. But even if you think that’s a good idea (it isn’t), how are individuals supposed to make good medical choices if we ensure that they have no idea what health benefits, if any, to expect from their choices?

    Still, the desire to perpetuate ignorance on matters medical is nothing compared with the desire to kill climate research, where Mr. Cantor’s colleagues — particularly, as it happens, in his home state of Virginia — have engaged in furious witch hunts against scientists who find evidence they don’t like. True, the state has finally agreed to study the growing risk of coastal flooding; Norfolk is among the American cities most vulnerable to climate change. But Republicans in the State Legislature have specifically prohibited the use of the words “sea-level rise.”

    And there are many other examples, like the way House Republicans tried to suppress a Congressional Research Service report casting doubt on claims about the magical growth effects of tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Do actions like this have important effects? Well, consider the agonized discussions of gun policy that followed the Newtown massacre. It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue. Willful ignorance matters.

    This type of policy is happening in our House of Representatives.”

    From Paul Krugman’s article today in NYT.

    Anyone care to defend willful ignorance?



    ‘Willful ignorance’ is an oxymoron.

    You’re an oxymoron!

    (Any sissies out there care to defend oxymorons?)



    Um, isn’t an oxymoron a phrase that is self-contradictory? Since the concept of “will” and the concept of “knowledge” aren’t the same, I’m confused.

    Or maybe I’m missing your intended irony?

    Which is to say…wtf???



    Willful ignorance is not an oxymoron.



    Very asstoot. But this is why English is so devilishly good, no?

    One can be aware that one’s knowledge is lacking. However, one cannot be aware of one’s ignorance, for to be ignorant is to be incognizant of the condition itself.

    Hence: ‘Ignorance is bliss.’



    “However, one cannot be aware of one’s ignorance, for to be ignorant is to be incognizant of the condition itself.”

    Demonstrating ignorance of logic.Ignorance can be general or specific. For instance, I am aware of the fact that I am ignorant of the basic principles of rocket science. I am aware of my ignorance on this subject.



    dobro! So glad to see you back in the ring.

    Word definitions are one thing, logic is another. If you wish to define ignorance as simple lack of knowledge, so be it. However, I define it as lack of awareness, and I believe that was how wakeflood was using it, so that’s why I took up the cudgels.

    I would note that ‘general’ and ‘specific’ are both highly relative terms, but regardless of whether one’s lack of awareness is one or the other, my argument would still apply. To be ‘willfully unaware’ of something is, by definition, impossible.

    Let’s consider an example from history. In the same way that wakeflood accuses Americans of being willfully igorant of certain truths, you might accuse the medieval Catholic Church of having been willfully ignorant of the fact that the Earth was not the center of the Universe. But your argument would falter on that very ground.

    The Catholic Church persecuted Galileo precisely because they knew he was right.

    I love you Spartacus, as I loved my own father.


    HMC Rich

    Blah Blah Blah Blah attack Republicans. Provide a link to Site your sources to support your view. Who knows I might even agree with you. Eric Cantor needs to be replaced but…. Blah Blah Blah.

    I think Galileo was really Spartacus re-incarnated academically. (Not really) But it was the Church that authorized scientific research through the ages too.



    “To be ‘willfully unaware’ of something is, by definition, impossible.”

    Goalpost moving on your part. 5 yard penalty and loss of down. Willful ignorance is the term under question, not “willfully unaware”, although that fits your argument better.

    One can be willfully ignorant if one chooses to ignore something that is apparent.

    None of this has anything to do with the subject of the thread, tho, so it’s fine with me if we move on.


    HMC Rich

    Move along. Nothing to see here. I am willfully ignorant because I choose to be so regarding this thread. Thanks Dobro



    Well, in a possible response to what HMCR asked for – although I’m not certain this is what he was referring to for “please link a site…”. Look up the August Forbes magazine re: Paul Ryan budget.

    “Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, was the architect of the House’s 2013 fiscal framework–a plan that wouldn’t balance the budget until after 2040.

    In fact, looking at the next 10 years—the budget window that really matters to Congress—Ryan’s deficit would be roughly identical to the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline. At the end of the period, in 2022, they’d be exactly the same. In other words, Congress would achieve the same amount of deficit reduction by doing nothing as it would by following Ryan’s blueprint.”

    Deficit Hawks? Um…hardly.



    Sorry, removed due to being posted on the wrong thread.



    Removed as response to moved comment.




    As far as the original question asked:

    “Does anyone care to defend willful ignorance?”

    Not I. I’ve removed myself from many a family holiday party as certain members of the family maintain their “Willfully Ignorant” stances by refusing to read anything that may point to evidence contrary to their opinion. And this is regardless of weather or not they know it actually refutes their stance. They are happy to live in their convenience based realities and find no need to alter their world view.



    i once heard an adage ignorance is bliss




    as it turns out, the elected officials currently promoting the value of ignorance are Republicans…

    would this conversation be more acceptable to you if they weren’t?



    Seems that the current schism in the GOP might best be relieved by a true split into two parties, maybe three?

    GOP/Corporatists: can maintain the branding but now consists of exclusively Corporatist concerns. Note: GOP now officially stands for “Gawd Offal Party”.

    Knew Nothings: All the xenophobes, anti-women, anti-science, and social issue “hyperbolicians” have found their new home in an old, comfortable and extinct 19th century party that may actually have been more progressive than some of the current membership. (Knew/New?)

    Weak Tea Party: What’s left of the Grover Norquist gang – only without the Koch bro funding that returned to its rightful home in the Corporatists.

    OK, ready?? And…BREAK!



    “world’s beacon of enlightenment”

    what the (*&*&&^$^%#^%(*^(*&(^^%&$^$#%@%&$&^%%#$#&^%(&%%#%$*(&^(&*(*^^!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!#*#&%#$^$%&@^%&*%^#



    I suspect you’d have kept going if your fingers hadn’t gotten tired of holding down the shift key?? Or maybe your spell check is turned off?



    ignorance. heh.

    the root word is ignore.

    not “be unaware of” or “be incognizant of.”

    the implication of the original post is that republicans are aware of the science, but (willfully) choose to ignore its implications and potential benefits to our society and that they govern in denial of proven facts. their motives are left to speculation, but one could assume that their motives are monetary – whether for personal or political gain.

    in other words: same shit, different day.

    cheers, wakeflood.



    Cheers, R/B! Hey, everytime I read about another bizarro conservative world view my brain starts playing back this old World Party song…

    Avarice and greed,

    are gonna’ drive you over the endless sea,

    it’ll leave you driftin’ in the shallows,

    drownin’ in the oceans of history.

    Travelin’ the world,

    you’re in search of no good,

    but I’m sure you’ll build your Sodom like you knew you would,

    using all the good people for your galley slaves,

    as the little boat struggles through the warnin’ waves…

    Karl Wallinger, 1987



    And on an unrelated point – but part of an old thread from a week or so past – who was it that was pushing the Faux party line about Fannie/Freddie being the primary culprit in the mortgage fiasco?

    Well, several folks at that time debunked it but it won’t die because Rubio dished it up again last night. So, for those who live a fact-based life, here again are some, you know…facts:

    Private institutions were responsible for more than 84 percent of subprime loans issued in 2006, according to Federal Reserve data cited by McClatchy Newspapers. Countrywide Financial, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo led the way in 2008, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance cited by McClatchy.

    All told, the Center for Public Integrity reported in 2011, mortgages financed by Wall Street from 2001 to 2008 were 4½ times more likely to be seriously delinquent than mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie.

    Not twice as likely. Not 3x as likely, 4.5x as likely to be hosed up.)

    So, F&F tried to hop on the back of the speeding train as it flew through the station. They caught a handle and grabbed a seat but they weren’t in the engine with Country Wide or in the bar car with Fargo, BofA, Chase, et al…



    Sorry for the semantic madness, wake, yet there is method in’t.

    In your opening post, you wrote:

    It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue.

    Willful ignorance matters.

    –This is a crucial point you’ve raised here, my man, because this question of “ignorance” really goes to the heart of MOST long-standing arguments. In these national policy debates (gun control, abortion, tax policy) it’s practically de rigueur for each side to eventually say to the other: “But mon dieu, Monsieur! You ignore zee facts!”

    However, I think the charge would be more aptly put as: “You’re ignoring my intepretation of the facts.”

    And I think it would be helpful if both sides just admitted that’s what they’ve BEEN doing all along, and that’s what they intend to KEEP doing . . . until one side is eventually declared the winner . . . by history or government decree.


    Let’s take guns as a test case here. Your claim is that Americans are being kept in the dark about the facts of gun violence.

    Are you sure?

    Somehow I doubt that even ardent gun supporters are unaware that gun violence is a problem for America. They just feel that gun control is not the solution to that problem. Or at least, that’s what they’ve been saying in this forum . . .

    A hypothetical: Let’s say you took and forced every gun-toting American to read and memorize a long list of statistics on gun deaths. How many of these newly educated gun nuts would tear up their NRA cards do you think?

    Hint: You cannot divide by this number without breaking “the law.”

    And possibly your calculator.




    “back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue.”

    it’s pretty easy to call it all interpretation when no facts are being gathered.

    no facts are being gathered by any government agency because the the NRA didn’t like what the facts had to say… so they pushed Republicans to stop the agencies from gathering data..

    does this sound familiar to you? It should. It’s the same tactic that was used for climate change..

    and yes.. sadly.. people bought it

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