I like this word ignoranthropite, which appears to mean something like “a person who dwells in ignorance”. Of course, that’s pretty much all of us, and I don’t really see it as a synonym for being human, so what else might it mean?
As a rule I’m opposed to gratuitous ignorance-shaming. I strive to accept the fact that we are each of us more ignorant than knowledgeable, and I really think that of all the nasty ways to luck-shame someone, I think one of the nastiest is to shame someone for having failed to learn something yet. Examples of this sort of interpersonal cruelty abound:
- You should know how to manage your own finances!
- What? You mean you can’t even cook a souffle?
- Don’t you know better than to give your credit card number to someone who just calls you up and asks for it?
- You idiot!
- You moron!
- You dolt!
- You’ve never read The Great Gatsby! Did you even finish high school?
- Holy cow! When are you going to learn to drive?
- This is America, dammit — speak Navaho!
So I wouldn’t want this neologism to become a term of insult or disparagement, which suggests it should refer to some sort of temporary status. It is simply a word meant to convey a particular way of being human under particular sorts of circumstances. More specifically, it should probably describe a particular way of being ignorant, until such ignorance has been replaced with a particular kind of knowledge.
An ignoranthropite is a person who dwells for the time being in the specific and hopefully temporary ignorance of his or her own more general and utterly Human state of Ignorance.
In this sense, it appears to have an antonymous relationship to some kind of enlightenment. To the extent that enlightenment is an awareness of one’s own ignorance, then an ignoranthropite is one who has yet to achieve that type of enlightenment.
What do you think?
I’m wondering how common it may be for people to misunderstand autism as some form of intellectual disability. To the extent that someone were to misunderstand autism in this way, we might predict that he or she would find it hard to believe that a given autistic person actually has any sort of disability at all, given the lack of an intellectual one.
I suppose the argument would look something like, “Mr. Autistickish may have autism, but he clearly does not have any sort of intellectual disability, therefore he’s not disabled.” Such a conclusion may seem especially warranted if the skeptic believes the commonly held false belief that mere intellectual prowess (a.k.a. “intelligence”) — is the beginning and end of successful achievement.
According to a 2008 study by the Center for Disease Control, it does appear that some 38% of autistic children also have an intellectual disability, which suggests that if all you know about a person is that they are autistic, and you simply guess that the person also has an intellectual disability, you’d be correct about 38% of the time, and those aren’t terrible odds. But it also implies you’d be wrong 62% of the time, which is to say that autism predicts normal to superior intellectual functioning much more often than not.
The upshot here is that autism — however often it may be associated with intellectual disability — is not at all the same thing.
What the heck is THIS? For now I’m calling it a heelch, the sound I made when I first saw the picture on my phone. It looks biological, but is it from Earth? I have no memory of taking the photo, so it must have some sort of power to induce amnesia, which suggests an extraterrestrial origin. I fear it may be smarter than I am.
Sometimes I think I’m quite smart, and sometimes I think I’m quite stupid. On average I suppose I think I’m smoopid, where I spell it that way for the following reasons:
- To make sure it gets pronounced to rhyme with stupid and not cup lid;
- Because it contains the word moo, which makes me think of cows;
- Because cows are kind of amusing, and that makes the word kind of amusing;
- Because cows are also kind of stupid, and as regards my own smoopidity, it’s really not the smart part that appears to dominate, which could be misleadingly suggested if the word were smarpid.
The octopus is highly intelligent. But these shy, clever creatures are often excluded from “polite society” — stigmatized as “creepy” or “weird” — probably because they don’t do well on standardized tests.
Here’s a YouTube documentary on octopus intelligence: