How much ignorance is too much to fight?

I know, I know, we’re all supposed to fight ignorance, stupidity and general shlubbery wherever we see it. But sometimes, ignorance wins. What’s your breaking point?

For me, it’s Yahoo! Answers. I used to hang out on their Religion and Spirituality board, trying to clear up misconceptions about Judaism. I no longer find myself able to do so. The sheer amount of cretinous credulous trolls (or some combination of the above thereof) makes my brain hurt. There is no way to describe the sheer depths of idiocity encountered, from the guy who takes South Park as a reliable authority (“Is it true that Jews carry bags of Jew-gold around their necks?”) to the “What Do I Do Retard” (dedicated to asking random questions like “I found an alien in my grandmother’s potted plants. What do I do?”) to the mind-boggling stupidness of “Was Hitler anti-semitec?”:smack:
Not to mention the daily “So why don’t you believe Jesus was the messiah, again?” thread. Sure, it’s not their fault that aproximately 4,967 people have asked the same question before, but it does get a bit repetitious.
True there are people there who are intelligent, informative, and dedicated to telling the truth at all costs, and I felt privileged to work alongside all eight of them. But I just can’t stomach Y!A anymore. Score one for ignorance.

Yeah, Yahoo! Answers beat me, too. Pregnancy and Parenting sections mostly. Like you say, it’s just impossible to adequately describe the idiocy. And this is in people who are breeding!!! Occasionally I get sucked back into the vortex of crazy, but I give up much sooner than I used to.

I hear it gets even worse. Something called /b/? Never been there, never going.

My local newspaper forum is too ignorant to fight for the most part. They don’t even know or care that they’re so painfully uninformed that their arguments are laughable. To make it worse, they never say die. Their arguments can be factually debunked over and over and they pick themselves right up, dust them off and use them all over again, all the while crowing about their supposed trouncing of any other arguments. They’re too stupid to know they’re stupid.

I think that /b/ may be like that on purpose, whynot. I sure hope so.

My internet subculture knowledge extends to knowing that /b/ is part of 4chan, and no further.

Youtube. They are all morons, all of them.

They got me in the Diabetes section. How many times can you hear, “I’m tired. Am I diabetes?” or, “Can I get the beetis from eating too much sugar?”

What puzzles me is how most newspaper websites are filled with places for “readers” to comment on whatever topic is posted. It’s serving two purposes that I can spot right away:

  1. It’s a living demonstration that the paper’s writers (in large part) are more facile with the language and its usage, whether or not their opinions and statements of fact show any signs of erudition, wisdom or common sense.

  2. Readers (for the most part) don’t have a clue what they’re talking about, how to spell it, and which expletives to employ to “spice it up.”

This aspect is not limited to newspaper websites. It applies more and more to what may have been one-time print-only media. I guess they’re trying to prove that the printed word still has relevance. Fat chance.

Obligatory link

I once had a discussion with friends about cats and toys. Someone suggested that maybe they don’t have fun with them, but they’re just compelled to keep fighting this annoying fuzzy mouse that keeps bouncing back at them no matter what. I said that perhaps it’s like reading Youtube comments - you don’t want to, it only makes you more angry, but you keep doing it.

I believe /b/ is home to the people responsible for tracking down that guy who posted the video (on YouTube) of himself beating up a cat.

One of the local TV stations allows comments on all of its videos and stories. Most of the comments end up degenerating into witnessing, regardless of the original subject matter.

Do you mean how much is too much to overcome, or how much is too much to even begin the fight?

For example, I find myself completely incapable of NOT harping on the “vaccines do not cause autism” and “psychiatrists are not drugging our children into submission” ignorances, even though I cannot think of a single time I’ve been able to make a dent in someone’s opinion to the contrary. Those would be examples of ignorance that is too much to overcome but that I still attempt to fight.

The latter example would be the 9/11 Truthers, Holocaust deniers, and people who are convinced that global warning is a liberal lie. I don’t even start with those people, because the ignorance is so large it’s not even worth attempting the fight.

Surely there must already be terms to describe these people:

– aggressive ignorance
– lacklearners
– imperviates
– predecided
– chimeheads
– duller-than-thou

I like the term agressive ignorance. It describes some of the attitudes I’ve come across, especially those specifically mentioned by Kolga. They don’t want to hear anything else, since they believe it comes from a morally corrupt and power hungry source.

I’ve got limited patience for arguing with actual hatred. I do it sometimes but it’s difficult to sustain and you almost never get anywhere. Other than that, people who blame all opposing opinions on conspiracies are the most frustrating. There’s plenty of overlap between these two categories, of course.

I don’t understand where the people on our newspaper site come from, Zeldar. It’s overwhelmingly liberal here and the most ‘hardcore right wing conservatives’ that ever get elected are mainstream democrats. Any votes with clear liberal/conservative lines are landslides and we’re known far and wide as being wack job liberals. Yet 95% of the posters on the local forum are ranting and raving Limbaugh fans and despise everything about the town. Thankfully these people must not vote because they’re scary.

After reading the first comment to this article, I had to wonder if the rest weren’t meant as jokes too.

As for Yahoo answers, I sometimes stumble on them when I use google to find information on a subject that I know very little about. (Yes, it’s an almost daily occurance.) It seems to me that decent answers eventually make it to the top, so your efforts are not in vain.

I sometimes wish the SDMB was arranged so that “good” answers were moved to the head of the line. Too often, the first responses to a thread are silly one-liners, spiteful putdowns or geeky in jokes that only the poster and two lurkers get.

Low-level, but very widely-distributed ignorance has been getting on my nerves lately - littering, for example - big chunks of ignorance can be identified and targeted, but how do you deal with it when it’s everywhere, and you only become aware of it after the owner of the ignorance has gone somewhere else?

The banality of ignorance. :frowning:

Don’t fix what ain’t broke. I stick with the classic – pinheads.

When push comes to shove, I’d bet most people here would even say the straightdope, scary as that may be.

And thats just the SDMBers that are STILL here posting. How many people who really knew their shit about subject XYZ gave up the ghost and left long ago?

Are you referring to the letters to the editor section? This has been noted in a recent thread. All too* common*.