Minds and Parachutes

13 Jan

What is truly depressing about the troll-like creatures who comment on news stories is not that they are ignorant, nor that they are illiterate, it is that they have closed minds.

Now everyone has their own prejudices, as much as they have their own preferences. Just because I don’t like Coca Cola doesn’t mean that it is complete rubbish, (Oh, hang on, that analogy really doesn’t work, it really is a pile of crap).

What is important is a bit of self-knowledge. I know I can be be a bit too left-wing for many people, and can wander from the topic and am a little bit lazy. I can also be pedantic and a little intolerant, a bit of a dick in fact. What I am most intolerant of is intolerance itself.

Genuine ignorance can be forgiven if the person is willing to listen and learn. When someone uses ignorant pronouncements from, say, Donald Trump or Nigel Farrage or Katie Hopkins to bolster and justify their own prejudice on the grounds that a prejudice shared must be the truth, then I find myself forced to challenge them.

The problem I have here is when it is wilful ignorance, when the balance of facts shows the truth to be 180 degrees away from what they are saying, and they won’t listen to any evidence put before them. My blood pressure would be lower if I took some advice my old dad gave me: “It’s no use arguing with stupid, ignorant people, they don’t listen, so they can’t learn.”

Frank Zappa said: “Minds are like parachutes, if they are not open they don’t work.”

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