Arrogant ignorance

The following line continues the theme of appropriate scale from a few days ago.

We identify arrogant ignorance by its willingness to work on too large a scale, and thus put too much at risk.

This comes from the title essay of Wendell Berry’s collection of essays The Way of Ignorance. Berry mostly has in mind ecological risk, though of course the principle applies more generally.

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5 thoughts on “Arrogant ignorance

  1. Frank: I don’t see this as the kind of definition I criticized the other day. I didn’t think of it as a definition. I read it saying “Here’s how you can recognize what I’m calling ‘arrogant ignorance.'” But maybe I’m being generous with Wendell Berry because I like what he said.

    The kind of hack writing that bothers me would be something like “You may think you know what ignorance is, but let me tell you what it really means.”

  2. I’M interested iin the definition of “ecologic risk”. I’m assuming it comes from risk assessment, with which I am only slightly familiar. Does it have any relationship to either ecological fallacy or specification error?

  3. The term “arrogant ignorance” takes on new meaning in light of the SOPA/PIPA which was in the spotlight this week. The congressional sponsors wrote the laws without any idea how the medium it was to act on (the internet) would be affected, or even how it worked. “I’m not a nerd” became their battle cry.

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