Friday, July 8, 2011

Do you think you have much to contribute to society?

It bothers me that so few people look upon themselves with disappointment. Members of Bigfoot message boards will be more than happy to provide you with their "opinion" that Bigfoot absolutely MUST exist -- even if they have no idea what they're talking about, and have no credentials relevant to zoology, biology, etc.

Why are such people allowed to provide their opinions on these topics? There is no basis for them whatsoever. Is it okay to let people provide an opinion on some ontological matter just because they want to feel like they belong to something? What if we were to let anyone form an "opinion" on how to build a bridge?

If you were to eyeball the distance between yourself and the clouds above you, what would make your opinion somehow worth considering, given the existence of measuring instruments?

Be honest with yourself: Are you providing your two cents because you have genuine business in doing so, or do you just want everyone to know that you exist? Do you have something to contribute beyond the baseline at which most opinions rest, or do you just want to be recognized? Sometimes the right thing to do is to admit ignorance, even in spite of an interest in the topic at hand, and politely step aside.

Too few people are disappointed in their shortcomings. I am very, very disappointed in mine -- not because I feel as though I've "failed" in life, but because the universe has so perfectly limited me. My brain could calculate things so much faster, judge distances so much more accurately. Most people don't think about stuff like this, because they're after social gratification rather than truth. What a great world it would be if everyone were horrified by their limitations.

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