On drawing the girl strung like a puppet – a projection of myself; it evoked a series of provoking thoughts. These ideas sat in my mind for a while now, but the recent readings that revolve around abstract but critical thinking brought them up to the surface.
Is the girl autonomous in her situation? Did she give up trying to seize the power of sovereignty? Or did she just allow circumstances to will her life? What is autonomy? Do we have autonomy? Or is autonomy an imagined control that we so desperately need?
Arrogance vs Ignorance
Is she too proud to ask questions that may lead her to claim the power of sovereignty or is she simply ignorant of the existence of such element?
On arrogance, it reminded me of a time when I had what I thought was an intellectual discourse with a person, and then I quoted an example using the word “colloquial” to illuminate my point. The discussion ended badly as I should have expected no less from a tinderbox. This person remarked that I invented the word out of my arrogance for the sake of my argument.
The word “colloquial” is not remotely a word that I had invented; I wished I were that smart, though. Colloquial saw some transformations over time, but the origin of the word roots back to what the linguist termed as ‘Proto-Indo-European’ dated more than 5,000 years ago.
By giving the historical background of the existence of the word, it demonstrates the ignorance of the person who accused of my unintended word-creativity. Although I do not deny that I have a flair to coining a new syndrome from time to time, I would not take credit for what I don’t deserve.
We need to accept the fact that we do not know everything. Even if I were the absolute authority of a discipline or area of studies, what I know now can change. Knowledge is fluid and relative. Could it be arrogance upon ignorance in this case? The arrogance of overestimating one’s knowledge capacity that hampered the humility to ask when a foreign word comes up.
Unless a person has an eidetic memory, It is quite impossible for any one person to know and remember all the words that exist in a language. Keeping that reality in mind, when we hear a word that we have not heard of, the probability that we don’t know the word is higher than the word being non-existent. Therefore, a keen learner ought to ask what that word means; by asking, it gives the person who used that word a chance to edify the Enquirer or retract the word if it is a mistake.
By assuming the latter, opposes the probable reality and demonstrates the arrogance of own knowledge by way of ignorance. I know, the order or flow swirls a little bit, but they are indeed interchangeable positions as they can have co-influence on one another regardless of the priorities.
Black on White, or White on Black?
Recently, I stacked the newly purchased bowls on my Ikea black mouse pad and took a photo. No reason. It got me thinking again. (the only thing that is near to being valuable is my ability to engage intellectually with my mind! So yes, I think a lot.)
With a 3-dimensional image, it’s easier to see that the bowls are on the mouse pad. If the visual presentation is presented as a flat 2-dimensional image, it creates variations of interpretation.
It is correct to say that the white is on black; is it also not wrong to say that it’s the black on white, perfectly stacked. Who says the black is a full circle? Perhaps it has an impeccably cut circle where the white circle fits snuggly.
We may then also question the chronological priority. If the black circle is a full circle, it is more likely to be placed on the surface first, followed by the white circle; there is no way around that, because if the black circle comes later, it would have covered the white circle completely.
If the black circle is not a full circle, its significance and chronological priority may change depending on our interpretation. If the white circle comes first, then, the black circle may be made specially to fit over the white circle. If the black circle with an inner hollow circle comes first, then, the white circle may be specially cut to fit into the original empty circle. Or perhaps the black and white circles have the same priority as they are not separable, they are made exactly the way we now see them.
We need to keep an open mind to what we know as limited knowledge. These are just the ways I could think of to interpret now, who is to say I have listed all the explanations? Just because I can articulate in a confident way (hey, this is my platform for ‘speech’ after all, it is where my self-confidence exudes boundlessly) doesn’t make me more right or otherwise.
The Thin Line
A thin line divides arrogance and ignorance in the context of knowledge. Being ignorant is fine, but don’t choose it. When I say a person wants to be stupid or ignorant, is when pride motivates the choice.
In my given example, the person chose to be ignorant out of pride, or he was too arrogant to think that it was impossible for him to not know the word, or he was too arrogant to think that I could have known words that he does not. One way or another, arrogance and pride hamper learning which will undoubtedly lead to ignorance. Before we conclude that a person is arrogant, we ought to validate our accusation, otherwise, once again, we are demonstrating too eagerly of the lack of integrity of our inflammatory claims on a weak ground or any ground at all.
Take A Moment of Silence
Today is Anzac Day. Let’s take a moment of silence to honour the men and women who participated in the wars, conflicts and peacemaking efforts globally, and remember the Australians and New Zealanders armies who fought in Turkey in WWI.
War, happens for many reasons, but many times, it stems from the arrogance, pride, and ignorance.
Now that my brain is warmed up, I am ready to take on the assignment.