Ignorance

1041 – “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

-Isaac Asimov

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901 – Wisława Szymborska on Knowledge

“Rozmaici oprawcy, dyktatorzy, fanatycy, demagodzy walczący o władzę przy pomocy kilku byle głośno wykrzykiwanych haseł, także lubią swoją pracę i także wykonują ją z gorliwą pomysłowością. No tak, ale oni “wiedzą”. Wiedzą, a to, co wiedzą, wystarcza im raz na zawsze. Niczego ponad to nie są ciekawi, bo to mogłoby osłabić siłę ich argumentów. A wszelka wiedza, która nie wyłania z siebie nowych pytań, staje się w szybkim czasie martwa, traci temperaturę sprzyjającą życiu. W najskrajniejszych przypadkach, o czym dobrze wiadomo z historii dawnej i współczesnej, potrafi być nawet śmiertelnie groźna dla społeczeństw”.

“All sorts of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by way of a few loudly shouted slogans also enjoy their jobs, and they too perform their duties with inventive fervor. Well, yes, but they “know.” They know, and whatever they know is enough for them once and for all. They don’t want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish their arguments’ force. And any knowledge that doesn’t lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life. In the most extreme cases, cases well known from ancient and modern history, it even poses a lethal threat to society.”

-Wisława Szymborska

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900 – 「敢于 发问,羞耻 一时,知 耻 于 发问,愚昧 一生。」

“Gǎnyú fāwèn, xiūchǐ yīshí, zhī chǐ yú fāwèn, yúmèi yīshēng.”

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

Literal Translation: “Dare to ask questions, shame for a time, to have shame to ask questions, ignorance for a lifetime.”

-Chinese Proverb

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803 – “Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum cum superiorum aetate contexitur?”

“Not to know what happened before you were born is to be a child forever. For what is the time of a man except it be interwoven with that memory of ancient things of a superior age?”

–Cicero

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565 – JFK’s Leadership and Learning Quote From Speech Prepared for the Day of his Assassination

“…Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. The advancement of learning depends on community leadership for financial and political support and the products of that learning, in turn, are essential to the leadership’s hopes for continued progress and prosperity. … This link between leadership and learning is not only essential at the community level, it is even more indispensable in world affairs. Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country’s security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason, or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”

–John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America
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383 – “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

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