I think I need a new word, possibly characterised as:
“gourmet” is to “epicure”
“connoisseur” is to “???”
There are many things that people become connoisseurs of that I also enjoy: coffee, music, art, food, football, literature, wine, cigarettes and whiskey and wild, wild women.
But I have little or no desire to study them and inform myself of them and how they are created, or to discuss them with fellow travelers.
I used to say I was a “philistine”; but I bear no hostility to these things – on the contrary, I have a great liking for many of them, and you may even find I am surprisingly well-informed about some of them.
I think I simply enjoy the experience of the consumption, and the situation you are in that lets you:- and that is a great way to live your life. It may even mean you have more time to spend enjoying yourself benefiting humanity.
So I want a word I can use that is celebratory – not negative antonyms from the dictionary, such as “beginner, philistine, groundling, ignoramus, materialist.”
Then it could be a compliment we could use to children who are beginning to understand and develop their way of life. They don’t need to feel bad that they aren’t in the “set”, or whatever.
And there would also be a simpler way to confront bloody connoisseurs who are dismissive and critical of people who perfectly sensibly say “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like”, “I don’t really enjoy Shakespeare/Opera/Punk” and similar.
And it would make it easier to challenge people who are critical or even mocking, of people who don’t know what they know about obscure things; while also laughingly reporting that they don’t really get Maths and that they failed their GCSE. Now that‘s an ignoramus.
This sort of thing that really pisses me off:
It is actually based on a question used to assess science literacy according to OECD and similar organisations’ criteria about the place of the earth in the universe.
But that assessment is usually done with the question:
“Does the Earth go around the Sun or does the Sun go around the Earth?”
And the second of those gets marked incorrect!
There are lots of “respected” publications that quote the “poor” answer as evidence of ignorance. Ignorant the people might be, but this is not evidence. How can you take any author seriously if they deny the patent evidence and current orthodoxy and deride others because they don’t agree?
But most importantly, how can we expect kids to learn science and scientific method (as opposed to just answering questions about the “facts”), if we ask them to deny their observations and all experiments that they can perform, just because teacher tells them it isn’t true?!!!!!
In fact the Sun going around the earth wins 2-1. It goes around the Earth every 24 hours, and it goes around the Earth every year.
Now I come to think of it, I had a very pleasant time recently with my granddaughter at sunset in Israel explaining how the sun goes down and then comes back up again, having gone round the other side of the earth. It never crossed my mind to try to explain it from the sun’s or even the earth’s frame of reference – why do that? I used her frame of reference. Of course, it is hopefully part of an ongoing conversation that will of course include the rotation of the earth, as well as a heliocentric view of the solar system, and a something-centric view of the galaxy…, but I can’t bring myself to lie to her and suggest a non-relativistic mechanics.
What they really mean is that you are not interested in the same things they are, and they don’t like it.