Saturday, 10 April 2010

a matter of opinions

'tis better to remain silent and remain a fool, then speak and remove all doubt" - mark twain.

let us take this quotation, and break it down to some axioms, which for the time being, we shall hold true:
1. those who speak, but speak nonsense are the most foolish amongst us, because they did not reserve their opinions...
2. whereas those who would think foolishness, but remained quiet, are the slightly more intelligent amongst the sillies of people.
3. those who speak, and speak with wisdom; and those who are wise but remain silent, we cannot differentiate between, as their choice of being opinionated or not is individual preference.

now, let us focus on the silliest of the sillies, and think of a way to differentiate them from the wise men who chose to be outspoken. indeed, telling by the content of their voices is a very vague, and unreliable method, especially when it is under individual scrutiny - who gives you or i the authority, knowledge, or insight to tell whether the content of a person's opinion is sublime or terrihorribaddible? indeed, it brings about a new problem, where if someone was too ahead of his time, he stands to be crucified by us lesser mortals (think zombie jesus, copernicus, socrates and even einstein); and this may lead to the miscatagorisation of someone wise as being terribad.

so, who evaluates an opinion? who makes or breaks an idea, and deems it 'good'? should it be pragmatic? should it be ethical? should it be culturally-significant? should it be supported by the masses?

let's take a hypothetical case: politicians. we all criticise them. some we love, some we hate, and in many cases we even hate all of them. and we bitch and moan and sigh and lament on their many mistakes and bad choices. many a time have i heard someone say 'i could do a better job than so and so' and i'm sure some of us have said it ourselves. how true do you think this could be, though? are you really wiser than this population-elected proxy of the people? or in a communist country, an electoriate of the state? or in a monarchy, son of him-who-is-what? who are you to say that you have considered every detail, and could come up with an answer that will satisfy everyone and everything (which i believe to be unattainable, since people by nature, will bitch about any- and everything)?

another example, on a more personal basis: you're driving on a dark desert highway. cool wind in your hair. one smell of colitas, rising up through the air. up ahead in a distance, you see a shimmering light. it is a traffic light, turning red from orange (not yellow). you're obviously speeding at about 160 (kmph, not mph, you silly americans). you really don't see anyone else around and decide to 1) gun for it, knowing full well you're going to break the red; 2) attempt to slow down, then re-evaluate the situation as you approach the crossroads; 3) do the 'right' thing and stop, wait for about 30 minutes for the thing to go green, then go upon your way. it's a trivial question, but i'm sure many of us have a hands-on experience (in gunning that red light, at the very least). and a good question to bring it all together relating to the title of this post (as i tend to ramble, if you hadn't noticed) is 'who gave you the authority to go against the pre-set law of stopping?' if you chose to gun it; or 'why the eff are you waiting 30m for a light to change colours, you silly tool?'.

interesting stuff. not that i would be entitled to give a penny's worth, since i am, in writing this, guiltily opinionated. and thence fall into the (less likely) wise and you-should-hear-what-i-say group or (very much more likely) the silliest of the sillies. how dreary.

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