Answers are what you find when you stop asking questions.


As apathetic and intellectually lazy as most humans are, we often stop short of informed, logical, and compassionate understanding.  So far short that some common answers are the opposite.  “This is as far as we’re exploring.  We’ve got telly to watch now, so this answer will do.”

Incuriosity is a leading cause of many of the worst conditions on Earth: mediocrity, mass destruction, and not killing the cat, as the old saying infers.  My canine companion is distressed by this, you can be certain.

It also helps explain why many thoughtful people caveat “My current understanding, subject to change as new information arises,…” when sharing their views.  One can discern distinctions between an open response and a closed answer?

When people and groups seek money or power from the public, they need to please the majority of us who’ve agreed to stop being curious together on certain issues.  Such agreements are called mass delusions.

If you irritate us by contesting these, you risk our support.  Just be thankful we’re giving you the wheel of The Titanic, and do shut up until you intercom the dinner menu inclusive of water crackers, seaweed salad, saltwater cod, and iceberg lettuce.

Herd mentality is a vicious cycle: The ignorant don’t want to know, and any leader who does is terrified to tell us.

Answers are lazy, questions are industrious.  Many answers leave so much undiscovered.  Voilà: Voltaire (1694-1778), ’Judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.’  They may have been more sexist in that time and place, yes?

Answers make lazy people happy, but you can never satiate a person possessing a sense of wonder.  I wholeheartedly recommend steering clear of them, if you value peaceful quiet time and mass delusions.

Historically, some now really, really old people held an Inquisition, and were called Inquisitors.  They were the early trendsetters ushering in today’s Decepticons on the Transformers.  The Inquisitors arrested those suspected of questioning their religious answers, and tortured them to elicit confessions of such heresy.  This was called “being put to the question”.

It’s an antique version of today’s religious right voters piously quizzing aspiring politicians as to their views on gay fetuses, aborted prayers, and keeping “IN GOD WE TRUST” on all those trillion dollar bills our government can’t borrow enough of.

Those having sincere questions on the other hand – mind you, a hand not forced into thumbscrews – are the inquisitive.  Three cheers for the inquisitive, for they shall find ever better understanding of – and for – the world around us.  But they shan’t inherit it, as I’m told that’s for the meek.  Whom we wish luck with the repairs after we’re done with it.


Title and body ©2013 Hyper Intellect


About HyperIntellect

Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it. - Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) Twitter: @HyperIntellect
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4 Responses to Answers are what you find when you stop asking questions.

  1. Dan Bridges says:

    Well done. Very well-crafted. Especially the juxtaposition of the inquisitors and the inquisitive. Reminded me of my days in catholicism classes debating with the priests and “teachers” there. A place my parents sent me for a few weeks when I was 14 upon finding out I wasn’t a believer.

    • Would the reason interest you for yours being the first substantive comment in the entirety of my blog?

      For the answer, we require a séance, Mister Bridges. Oh, I can feel something – he’s coming closer…..we see him now. This spirit passed only last year: the great Gore Vidal!

      “You must remember one thing about us humanists, we’re great snobs and we don’t meet the lower orders.”

      Especially if one were to add the term “well-informed” in front of humanists.

      And actually, it’s the general public who don’t meet intellectuals that contradict the expensive irrationality of herd mentality.

      Still, it’s a pity that you condescend to praise me instead of offering a suggestion for improvement.

      Such as the friend who recently volunteered – with some accuracy – that I am annoyingly self-righteous.

      Oh, wait. Your comment wasn’t actually about me, was it? It was about that lingering bitterness – festering deep in emotional pus – over being sent to the atheist equivalent of gay conversion therapy at age 14.

      Please accept my deepest condolences for that life-lasting trauma. Here, Mister Bridges, I find this helps quite a lot:

      • osolynden says:

        Of course somehow the Dan Bridges account no longer seems to exist…

        But at least he left you your first substantive comment. Apparently to be substantive applause are required.

      • My WP comment admin page shows:

        8/17 Copied title only. Ping?
        8/24 “hi” one word comment from you
        9/05 Woman complains I blocked her Twitter account – after her (hacked?) account sent mine a malware link.
        9/16 You submit a one sentence ISP test.
        9/20 15:15 Dan Bridges comments that he sees my post as well-crafted and reminds him of his Catholicism classes.
        9/21 18:46 You submit a substantive comment beginning with “The Painted Bird” book.

        So it is reasonable to assume that Mr. Bridges made the first substantive comment related to my blog.

        On your recent mention in your WP blog of me censoring comments here, the only one I intentionally censored was a brief, duplicative comment from the woman complaining that I blocked her Twitter account. But I approved and responded to one of her comments. How many duplicative, non-related, irrational comments do I have to approve: 3,571? No intentional substantive censoring by me.

        As far as Mr. Bridge’s WP account being already deleted, perhaps he only created it because WP requires one be made in order to comment on a post? And since he didn’t want to comment further, he deleted it? Perhaps not uncommon for WP.

        Let me know if I have missed approving any comments. Thank you, Lynden.

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