Coffee – Word of the Day
Today, clean up begins on South Korea’s worst oil spill ever. It spilled yesterday and already there are widespread uncertainty campaigns about the threats.
Today, Al Gore accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for countering uncertainty campaigns by conservatives who suggest suspending judgement on global warming.
Today, Togo gets a new Prime Minister and nobody knows or cares.
Consider for a minute the concept of uncertainty. Doubt. Ignorance.
Today, many people still believe oil spills can be cleaned, man-made global warming is debatable, and Togo does not exist. They’re not necessarily wrong. Doubt is important – and the study of ignorance is a serious discipline. So it should be no surprise that the word of the day, today, is agnotology.
Gnosos is Greek for knowledge. A-Gnosos means the absence of knowledge (like asymmetry, or anecrophilia – both of which I’ve been diagnosed with). Agnotology is the study of ignorance.
So how much knowledge can we have about ignorance? Consider this.
Answer one: there is enough knowledge about ignorance to merit the some five hundred doctorates and some thirty books that exist in the field.
Answer two: there is enough knowledge about ignorance, at least, to make a serious discipline of it.
Answer three: the term is itself a hoax invented earlier this week by Sean McGowan, who doctored a small number of open-source websites to engineer the term enough for others to reference it, thus creating the illusion of legitimacy and establishment. Outside of the claims in this email and the Wikipedia article, no proof exists that the word is even real.
What do you think?
This week work on trusting more of what you actually see. Build more confidence in your sense of smell and touch. Consider that, while your thoughts may not be the greatest in the history of mankind, they are probably better than something you read in a book.
And certainly more accurate than an email.
Sean McGowan (http://sean.mcgowan.be)
Sean is a gifted writer and old friend. He just published his first book, Click Click Snap which is quite delightful. I purchased it after reading the excerpt that he put online for free. I’m still busy but forever feel the whirring pull of your rss feeds.