We live in a world in which virtually everyone is out of their element. People have no idea what they’re talking about, have no idea that their metaphors are just that, metaphors. They have no idea about the intellectual genesis of ideas or of the necessities that lie behind the processes and methods that gave rise to the objects of such ideas.
Experts, professionals, and journeymen in every field in which I’m involved literally have no idea what they’re talking about much of the time, yet because they all share the same misconceptions, or because they all share the same lack of knowledge and assume that such knowledge doesn’t exist or isn’t important, none of them knows just how much he and his fellows don’t know.
Even more embarrassing (or at least it should be), you can at times find them mocking what is in actuality precisely the originating concept, the workable process, the intellectual basis for what they do. “Look at him,” they seem to say, “he actually believes in some magic ‘force’ called electricity. What a simpleton! He doesn’t realize that everyone is making fun of him and of the fact that he’s never realized that light bulbs are simply jars of fire!”
I know. It’s about as trite as anything to talk about the cave. I guess it’s one of those things you realize as you become a certain kind of functioning adult, even if you’re trained in disciplines that are supposed to render such observations superfluous.
People are completely uneducated. The reservoirs of knowledge that we’d like to take for granted as existing out there somewhere in society… don’t. We’ve passed the human capacity to learn any more, at least so far as the bulk of the population and our inborn mechanisms for sociality and social epistemology are concerned. This is as far as the human race goes; most simply aren’t capable of better.