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On page 7 of the introduction to Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick made the point that “the power of our enemies over us is implicated, not in their command of knowledge, but precisely in their ignorance.” “If M. Mitterrand knows English but Mr. Reagan lacks – as he did lack – French, it is the urbane M. Mitterrand who must negotiate in an acquired tongue, the ignorant Mr. Reagan who may dilate in his native one.” Sedgwick was wrong in idealizing the French, since François Mitterrand could not speak English, or any foreign language. The example was not factual but vividly illustrated her argument.

Another example:

Contributor X creates an article on Wikipedia.

Contributor Y comes across the article. Y does not have a clue what the article is about.

From this fact, Y does not deduce that, at least possibly, the article is about a subject which is legitimate enough that an article be written about it but about which they do not know.


Y deduces that, if they do not have a clue what the article is about, then the article is about nothing that is worth writing (or reading) an article about.

Y does not try to learn about the subject. It is the other way round: Y challenges X to prove that the subject of the article is worth an article.

In other words, when Y is placed in a situation where they appear to be on the less-informed side of a cognitive gap, Y does not assume that the knowledge they do not have actually exists. Furthermore, the ignorant party decides that the burden of proof rests with the other party. The ignorant party imposes the following rule: ignorance is presumed superior.

The consequence is that in a such a situation based on a knowledge gap, it is not the less-informed party who tries to reach up towards more knowledge. Instead, they drag the more-informed party down to their level. Y deletes the article, destroying the work which may have cost X time and effort, and depriving other readers of a source of information.

In this situation, a norm has been erected to solve the cognitive conflict, and this norm is not knowledge, it is ignorance. Ignorance is the law, and knowledge is made to comply with it.

This is how Wikipedia is run today. Power is yielded by ignorance over knowledge.

It is my opinion that in a normal world, knowledge, not ignorance, would be the norm, especially in a media which claims to propagate knowledge.

I do not consider myself a knowing person as opposed to an ignorant one. I do not mean that there is a category of people who are ignorant and a category of people who are not. I am using the words “ignorant people” in the context of a given subject. For example, I am mainly ignorant as there are a few things I know and many things about which I am ignorant.

I respect ignorance as long as it is humble. I do not presume that the things I am ignorant of do not exist or are not worth knowing. I do not respect ignorance when it is arrogant, claims superiority over knowledge and imposes its rule over knowledge.

This is why I will not contribute to Wikipedia any more.

I do not choose to be submitted to the dictatorship of the ignorant. I may have to live in a dictatorship of the ignorant, but that will be because I will be forced to.

I do not choose to have my contributions destroyed by ignorant people.

I want to thank everybody who improved the articles and parts of articles I have contributed.S.Camus (talk) 20:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)