Rome was the largest empire of its time and the leading force in the then-known world in Euro-Asia. And even all Europeans know at least a thing or two of American history as well, so checkmate there :P
I don't consider that checkmate at all. Firstly, if you are implying that I'm from anywhere in America, where are you getting that stereotype? Secondly, if you're implying that I should know a thing or two about European history, that doesn't mean that I would know that
specific thing. Thirdly, I'm telling you for a fact that I was not taught that in school. And honestly, it may be useful information to some
people but I hardly see how it's something that should be in the standard education, since you do have to be somewhat selective. As I said, there's only so much time to learn all that must be learned. And can you honestly give an example of how knowing about that wolf could directly or even indirectly be of practical use to anyone (and don't say because it could inspire a discussion like this one - that's too easy)?
Then are you intent on improving yourself, your horizons, skills and knowledge to better yourself, and therefore your surroundings?
I'm not really in a position to better my surroundings, if by surroundings you mean the society in which I live. I don't have authority over it. As for bettering myself, I think I've already answered that, but yes.
You are overly
aggressive to a set of posts I'm trying to make in order to, as weird as it might sound, help enlighten you. It would be a waste of time and effort otherwise. At first I (like emperorsfist, the other guy) was stumped by your initial two posts, but now that I got your proper attention, I see there's intelligence in you, but intelligence that wants to limit itself and look down upon what isn't immediately important to it. I used to be aggressive towards general knowledge and self-improvement myself, until I saw it led me nowhere.
Perhaps you misunderstand me to an extent. I have no intention of limiting my intelligence, nor am I even trying to imply that there is anything wrong with learning however much "general knowledge", as you call it, that you would like to know. I'm sure there are even some benefits to it, but more so for some people than for others; it depends largely on circumstance. I find it ironic that you keep accusing me of having such a narrow view, when actually your view is quite narrow to prescribe a method that you automatically assume will be best for everyone even if you don't know their particular circumstance. That's what seems cult-like about you - this not only following your method, but blindly spamming it like you want it to take over the whole world. That's the problem I have with it: not the method itself, but the fact that you're trying to push it on me or anyone else, saying that your point of view is definitely the right one and then having the nerve to accuse me of not being open-minded enough. Do you see the irony? If I am overly
aggressive, it's not because you presented your method, but because you told me that I should/must/need to follow it, rather than just saying "here's something you might like to consider as a possibility."
Like I said earlier, no knowledge is worthless. Of course
you'll put the stress on what you immediately need to know, but not expanding on other areas is a bit on the blindsighted side. Why do you think intellectuals try to grasp as many things as they can that are unrelated to their main careers?
Look, I don't restrict my knowledge to a single area; I study, learn about and experience (for lack of a better word) many things that I find interesting (math, physics, computer science, literature, film, music, video games, food, etc.), which I consider all together to be a fairly diverse collection of topics, but of course it doesn't include everything
. It's not like I go out of my way to avoid
learning about other things, I just don't go out of my way to learn them either. I pick up a few bits of information here and there and I realize that it may or may not come in handy at some point in my life, but studying it all is hardly the most efficient way to go about trying to understand things. And it's hardly my fault if I wasn't taught something in elementary school. Besides, do you know how long ago that was? I'm sure I don't remember most of it anyway (I have a pretty bad memory for things like that, except math and science, which I use regularly anyway). It's possible I even learned a bit about Roman history at some point, but it wouldn't have been enough to make any impression and I swear I didn't recognize that wolf! But you just want to claim that I"m stupid, ignorant, naive or otherwise mentally inferior just because I don't happen to recognize a stupid wolf. Can't you admit that's a little
(Architecture, for one thing, isn't just aesthetic, it's also functional. Different areas and periods devised different functional solutions and spatial organization.)
Well I would have thought of that more as engineering than architecture, but now that I think of structural features like columns and arches, you're right, I guess they are considered architectural. But my point is still valid, because a large part of architecture (or at least considerations to a building's design, whatever you want to call that) actually is
I did not try to imply cultural insensitivity (where did you even get that from?), but simple shortcuts that can help you interact with different cultures faster and more efficiently, in ways that are not
limited to avoiding inadvertent insults to people from another culture.
I agree that it's best not to inadvertently insult people (like you've done with me, or maybe that was intentional), but frankly, in my life and work I just don't interact much with other cultures and haven't found the need to go out of my way to do so. Sure that are sometimes people who have immigrated from somewhere foreign, but believe it or not, I get along with them fine. Not one has ever accused me of saying or doing anything insulting to them, nor have they behaved as though they had any resentment toward me in any way. Do you know why? Because I use common courtesy, I don't poke my nose into places it doesn't belong, I don't make assumptions or have prejudices about them, I treat them like the equal that they are, and it's always clear that my intentions are honorable. So they have no reason
to feel insulted by me.
As for the supposed accusation of cultural insensitivity, that wasn't an accusation or assumption, but merely a theory on my part, for why you might be acting this way. It's just that I've known various people who think similarly to you in this respect (that everyone must
make it their life's mission to learn as much as they can about all other cultures, etc.) and almost invariably, here are some things that those people have had in common, all of which severely irritate me:
- They thing that anyone who is lacking in absolute and complete knowledge of every worldly issue is not only culturally insensitive, but some kind of a provincial bumpkin.
- They accuse such people as myself of being bigots, racists, sexists, etc. based on no evidence supporting the accusations, and then become annoyed because of their own misconceptions.
- They believe that math and science are for "robots" and people that have no true intelligence and live like their brain is just a computer (which technically it is), and they might as well not even be conscious; they view us as soulless automatons.
- They think that all people should work together for a common goal, never mind if they can't agree on what the goal should be because of differences in individual prerogatives, then they should just be forced
- They're so unbearably liberal that it becomes full-blown communism. By the way, if you think I'm a conservative, you're wrong (except economically, in which I'm reactionary). I hate all the main parties. I'm an extreme libertarian, if not an objectivist.
(to be continued)