“It Is Clear to Me”

Posted on May 14, 2009 by

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In The Country of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King – H.G. Wells

But the problem is the countrymen of the Country of the Blind come to view the one-eyed-man as kind of a buffoon.

They don’t know anything about seeing stars, the sun, mountains, the sea, the glaciers.  Sounds like something of his imagination, and nothing that would ever be of use to them.

Trying to assimilate into the country, he is ascribed the status of eccentric, if not an idiotic piece of curiosity who stumbles when he walks and talks.

Reminds me of this video:

The video is about a person with autism merely reacting to the world as she perceives it.  The story by H.G. Wells is about a person with sight merely reacting to the world as he perceives it.

A story with lessons about the simultaneous ingenuity and idiocy of societies, groups, organizations.  Amazing ingenuity in how the Country of the Blind has survived, built a community, built its own customs, and it’s own knowledge base.  But idiotic in its automatic dismissal of the perceptions and descriptions of the one-eyed man.

The moral of the story: be skeptical of common sense, dismissiveness, and the absolutism of individuals and collections of individuals.  That’s Victorian Era English for my post-modernist cyborg Information Age era speak “your bullshit-o-meter should ring wildly every time you hear someone say “it’s clear to me”, “rationally,” or “objectively speaking”.

The story by H.G. Wells brought to my attention by the book, Rethinking Expertise by Harry Collins and Robert Evans.

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