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Sep 2, 2012

Knowingness vs Knowledge

A great post by John Barnes on why he hates snark. Snark, as he means it, is not all sarcasm or not this:

 ...rather, what he objects to is a certain kind of "knowingness," like teenage dismissiveness in people who no longer have the excuse of teenagerhood:
"Knowingness, of course, is not knowledge—indeed, is the rebuttal of knowledge. Knowledge was what squares had, or thought they had, and they thought that it was the secret of life. Knowingness is a celebration of the conceit that what the squares knew, or thought they knew, was worthless."
Knowingness at twenty-five... is habitual laziness; it's the guy who thinks he's a polymath because he has two dismissive sentences about every subject. It's the woman who couldn't follow the story of the movie, so she nods and says, "Great cinematography." It's people called upon to be brave, compassionate, or kind who aren't, and afterward explain that they could have been but they weren't going to let authority pressure them into it.

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