“It’s almost like God has this tease. We’re just smart enough to find these problems and issues, but we’re not smart enough to actually tackle them with a reliable way of finding the answer. Maybe that’s a good definition of philosophy: it’s those set of problems that we’re intelligent enough to grasp, but not intelligent enough to have any reliable methodology to solve.”
“ Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.”
March 31, 2009
WE’RE MAKING A VIDEO! This next meeting is all about starting up our video series. We’ll be brainstorming ideas for our first video and the video series in general. There’s a good chance we’ll also be shooting some footage at the meeting, too!
The new meeting is this Sunday, April 5th, at 7:00 p.m. Again, it’s being held at the cafe inside the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Deptford. An interactive map is below. Click here to get directions from your place. As always, there’s a Facebook Event for it. Let me know if you plan on showing up!
March 27, 2009
Recognizing the difference between ignorance and stupidity is a big step toward seeing that there is a positive side to ignorance. Stupidity is rightly seen as a bad thing. Ignorance, though, isn’t the same as stupidity, and so might not be such a bad thing.
Still, in most of our minds there is a natural connection between ignorance and stupidity. This is why many of us are embarrassed to be caught not knowing something. Few of us want to hear someone laugh and say, “What do you mean you’ve never heard of _______?!? HOW DUMB ARE YOU?” So, instead of admitting our ignorance about something, we often pretend that we do know about it, and hope no one discovers our secret.
Faking it is very common. To avoid looking bad, we pretend we know more than we really do. Norm MacDonald admits to faking it:
While faking it is both natural and understandable, I believe it’s bad for several reasons. Mainly, of course, it’s dishonest. Owning up to our ignorance is simply more genuine. But faking it is more intellectually damaging than other forms of dishonesty. In a few upcoming posts, I’ll explain these other reasons to avoid faking it.
March 25, 2009
March 24, 2009
Our first big project is to make the opening video for the club’s online video series. In fact, we’re devoting our next meeting to this project. Here are some video ideas we came up with at the third meeting:
- a video series of “lessons learned,” where a member tells a funny, embarrassing story about a mistake she’s made, and the lesson she learned from it (this could be done complete with reenactments, like the “Drunk History” series)
- some short interviews with smart people on topics related to intellectual honesty
- clips of powerful people (such as politicians or lawyers) being intellectually dishonest with our reactions to those clips
- short commercials on the benefits of owning our ignorance
Mainly, the first video should be short and funny. Also, it should introduce both the club and the video series. Suggest more video ideas here!
March 23, 2009
We had a great 3rd meeting last Sunday. Mostly we brainstormed about the club again (although a healthy portion of the meeting was devoted to surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse). Thanks to “Spanish Project” Ashley, “RPG” Chris, “I <3 Thom” Danielle, “Pro Bum” Dom, “Zombie” Justin, “Sir Laughs-a-lot” Kyle, “Hand Raising” Ringgo, “Finally Made It” Steph, and “Electricity” Valerie for coming up with some great ideas! We’re really starting to figure out what this club is all about. Our new ideas included:
- topics for discussion nights (my favorites: a 60’s night to discuss the impact of the counterculture movement, and a discussion of our ignorance of other cultures)
- ways to promote intellectual honesty (my favorite: creating a video series to put online)
- other smart people to invite as club guests (my favorites: Thom Yorke, and, more realistically, an expert on folklore)
Other new ideas are posted over at the club’s Facebook Discussion Board.
March 10, 2009
We got a lot accomplished in our second meeting, though it was mostly an organizational and planning meeting. Now it’s time to actually start clubbing! For our third meeting we’ll be doing two things:
- Having our first Discussion Night! There’s a place to let us know what you want to discuss on the club’s Facebook Group.
- Deciding what specific events we want to start planning for in the future.
The new meeting is this Sunday, March 15th, at 7:00 p.m. Like before, it’s being held at the cafe inside the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Deptford. An interactive map is below. Click here to get directions from your place. Let me know if you plan on showing up: join the Facebook Event, email me, leave a comment, whatever!
March 5, 2009
- Fourth Meeting « Owning Our Ignorance on Making the Video
- No Faking: Praising Ignorance (2) « Owning Our Ignorance on Our To-Learn List: Praising Ignorance (1)
- 3rd Meeting Recap « Owning Our Ignorance on Third Meeting
- Third Meeting « Owning Our Ignorance on 2nd Meeting Recap
- 2nd Meeting Recap « Owning Our Ignorance on TED Talks
- 2nd Meeting Recap « Owning Our Ignorance on About
- 2nd Meeting Recap « Owning Our Ignorance on Second Meeting
- Kyle Bell on Second Meeting
- Christopher Holzworth on Second Meeting
- Amber Truex on Second Meeting
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