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View Diary: "rural" and "dumb" need not apply (185 comments)

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  •  "Dumb" as a pejorative is, I suspect, (1+ / 0-)
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    ornerydad

    largely related to our assumtion that people who speak a lot and with great facility are smart and those who don't aren't. Some of us put more importance on what we see (people directed by superficial optics) and others rely mainly on what they hear, perhaps because their eyesight isn't too good or because they can't "read" images or abstract symbols. 30% of adult Americans are considered by people who have done studiesm to be functionally illiterate. Presumably, if those people are not also hearing impaired--i.e. "deaf and blind"-- they pretty much have to rely on what they hear, what people tell them, and their opportunities to identify and refute lies are likely few. Add to that that the ability to express oneself in writing involves yet another sense, the sense of touch, and the dismissive reference to people as dumb simply reveals a lack of close attention.
    However, when people who exert much time and energy putting themselves forward as experts and impress their audience with their linguistic skills, their obvious expertise might be an illusion, which our lack of close attention makes possible. Attention must be paid.

    Are people, all of whose senses are working well, more or less attentive?
    MOT is multi-talented. Does that make him more or less attuned to other people's deficits?
    He's a grand stander. We appreciate that because he promulgates our side. Does that make him always right? Is anyone always right? Are we all prone to segmentation?
    Dividing our environment into parts is a matter of convenience. The categories serve our needs. Perhaps what we have to remember is that the categories are not necessarily relevant, and may even be annoying, to the categorized.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:19:05 AM PST

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