from the tragedy dept

I would like to start moving Techdirt back to it’s normal sort of coverage, though I’m not sure that I’m up for it yet. I’ve been thinking more and more about everything that has happened and written it into a single essay which I’ve posted below here. Please click on read more or comments to read the whole piece, if you are coming to this from the front page, or click here to go directly to the story.

These are extraordinary days. I am just now beginning to get my head around everything that has happened. That does not mean I understand it. I feel that I will never - could never - understand it. I realize these past few days I've used Techdirt for different uses than normal, though I get the feeling that everyone understands. I would like to start moving Techdirt back towards its normal coverage, but still have a few more things about these events to say. Over the years, I've always tried to use Techdirt to keep people from over reacting to news about technology. The important thing to me is that we think critically about ideas - and not about people. I'm not perfect about that - and, indeed, no one is. This was a terror that was caused by ignorance. Ignorance that led to blindness. There is a part of me that wishes I could speak to those who caused this. I want to understand what vast ignorance of humanity could have even thought about this, let alone planned and carried it out. I am certainly as angry as anyone else in this mess, but I do not want to act out of ignorance back. I think it's this same sort of attitude that has me so upset about the reaction to this event. People are over reacting, jumping to conclusions, and blaming people or groups instead of ideas. To me, Techdirt has always been about fighting ignorance about technology, and now I'm trying to use it to fight ignorance in general. I have been reading a ridiculous number of news articles and emails from all over the world. Reading news and opinions is what I do, so it's only natural for me to do the same about this. I want to fight the ignorance, and the best way for me to do so is to really understand all that is happening. Others, however, seem to jump to conclusions. They don't want to wait and learn and understand. They have enough "evidence". That evidence may be correct - but it may have holes, and I cannot support acting out of a position of ignorance. I find that there are certain opinions that make me angry. These are any sort of comment that blames any "group" of people, whether they're Arabs, Americans, Israelis, or something entirely different. People are telling stories that are based on snippets of information that they know. It is possible to take one story and twist it to anyone's needs, and that's what it happening with reckless abandon. Let us find the individuals who caused this to happen. Let's face it. Every group has crazy people. Every group has ignorant people. Every group has irrational people. Blaming the group for those people is wrong and dangerous. Figuring out ways how to fight ignorance is the only answer that I feel comfortable supporting at this point. I am willing to listen to other opinions (and, indeed, I have heard all sorts of ideas). I am scared that there is no "right" answer - but acting out of a position of ignorance can only make matters worse. I've heard reports from Americans blaming the U.S. and "corporate interests" for creating the environment that made this possible. Why do people assume that the "U.S." is this single thinking/acting entity?
We can't even come close to agreeing on a President, but suddenly it's all of our faults? The same random generalizations are being thrown at all different groups of Arabs, Islamic groups, and Israelis, among others. Are there people within each of these groups who have made some very stupid decisions? Yes. Are there people within each of these groups who have made mistakes? Yes. Are there people within each of these groups who are ignorant? Yes. Are there people within each of these groups who may be dangerous? Yes. Does that mean we should be blaming them broadly for the acts of a few completely crazy people? Never. We must learn. We must fight our own ignorance, and work on fighting ignorance about all of this through out the world. In the past two days my opinions on certain subjects have changed drastically. I am trying to avoid jumping to conclusions. I'm afraid not many others are doing so. I am hearing people come up with stories that sound completely different than the world that I know. Then I hear another story that completely contradicts that story. I am sure there is truth in both of these stories. I cannot believe any story that blames a "group" of people about anything. Individuals can be very stupid. Please, help us to educate, rather than build up a fire based only on ignorance. I just watched a report about iron workers in NY who went to help as quickly as they could. These are heros who claim they aren't. In a thick NY accent, one of them said "If we weren't here, we wouldn't be who we are." While all of this heroism is going on, we need to be who we are, doing whatever we can to help, to aid and support those in need, understanding who the people who did this are, and how they could be so ignorant - and not sink to the level of the ignorant people around us who did this.

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Comments on “Ignorance”

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The Captain says:

Re: No Subject Given

This is just the sort of thing he’s talking about.

Pointing the fingers without any proof.

If a national government is behind this…I’m all for them being nailed to the wall.

If a terrorist organization is behind this, nail em as well.

But this kind of kneejerk stupid reaction without any evidence, any thought is just wrong.

Scott says:

No Subject Given

Many points in this essay are good and true but it really boils down to a group of easily influected people who are lead by evil people who are backed by governments and people with money. Like it or not this is what has happened and will continue in the future unless we start taking control of the easily influence people and chnge their thinking. And we may have to take drastic measures to gain that control. It really is Good verses Evil.

Brandon (user link) says:

There are only two solutions...

… to stop this from happening again. One is total annihilation of all those who might have been involved, and those who would be upset at that total annihilation. This doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

The other solution is to bring the world, maybe kicking and screaming, into the 1st world… ie to extend the economic successes of the 1st world to everyone. Although no guaruntee, prosperity and the “good life” seem to be the best way to reduce the pool of people willing to take these types of actions.

Don’t expect either of these solutions any time soon, however.


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