Dear Humpasaur: Fuck the Dumb

2012-04-12 06:54:00

The Question:

I notice you've been a real asshole on Twitter lately, no offense. I also remember an incident last year when I asked you for more information on something and you refused. So I have to ask, what's the point of learning all this great knowledge if you're not going to put it out into the world? Don't you think you owe people? If you're in a position to teach, aren't you obligated to?

Sincerely, [redacted]

Well, Boy Howdy.

I definitely had to answer this one publicly. The answer to pretty much everything thrown at me above is a flat and emphatic No.

If anything, here's what I'm working on: talking less. I don't want to just be "holding my tongue" when I hear people say things that are factually wrong and/or deeply stupid, I want to let it all flow right past me, like a tachyon through purified water; gone before it was there. I don't say that with anything resembling malice, either. I firmly believe that I contribute less than nothing by trying to correct people. My own life is a vivid proof that I have absolutely no business doing that, under any conceivable circumstances.

Think about it this way: there's millions of people who need blood, but I've only got about 8 pints of the stuff and I need pretty much of all of it. When people do give blood transfusions, it's a small amount and they're seriously debilitated for the rest of the week. Every single day, you're confronted by a burning & gaping maw of ignorance, and it will suck you dry in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. You will be angry, stressed out, and depressed...and for what? Some bullshit noun you can't even define in concrete terms?

I have no problem with the contention that I am an asshole on Twitter, of course: done deal.

I do have a problem with the fact that I'm an asshole for not putting the weight of a couple billion mouth breathers on my shoulders because you think I'm smarter than you. It's not that I don't care about other people, it's that other people don't care about what I have to say.

I don't like being the dude who is always starting off sentences with "Actually..." because that, THAT is asshole behavior. Reality is insanely gnarled and complex, there are no simple causes for anything, history is almost entirely bullshit, and just because I might have read a couple books in my day doesn't make my opinions any less wrong, shallow and completely inadequate in the face of God herself.

Look: I used to think I wanted to save the world. A perceptive and blunt woman showed me what a masturbatory lie that was and I am eternally grateful for it. I don't do all this reading and research because I'm a good person, I do it because I love doing it. I always have. I fill up notebooks and smile politely at strangers who ask me what school I go to. I don't do it for anyone but myself.

If you think you're different, right on. That's a good thing, zero sarcasm, all heart. I cannot help but admire that. I'm not going to tell you that I know your motives any better. I'm not going to tell you that you're lying to yourself because I have no possible way of knowing that.

Either way, Death is breathing down the back of my neck every single day and I have so much, so much work to do. I won't pretend it's more important, or better than yours, but it's what I'm here to do.

Life is short, too short. Fuck the dumb.

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