The Seoinin

  • Patricia A. Mcfate


Generally speaking, the Seoinin belongs neither to the aristocracy nor to the people — he or she, for unfortunately the female Seoinin predominates, is held in solution between the classes and the masses and approximates to neither. The Seoinin has received just sufficient education to make it patent to the observer that he or she is ignorant, and his or her ignorance is of a special type. There are some people who are ignorant in grain and there are more who are ignorant through misfortune. Neither of these, however, are ignorant in the same direction or with the same bulk as the Seoinin. The Sage who said that ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing,’ spoke one of the best aphorisms ever uttered by man. (Women incidentally don’t make proverbs, they make the stuff out of which proverbs are made.) He might, however, have written that a little learning is an ignorant thing, for that is how the matter stands. The person who knows that the earth is round, because he has been told so, or that the world is kept in motion by energy and force acting through matter, without understanding what either energy, force, or matter is, does not really know that the world is round or in motion at all, and is in danger of developing into an ignorant person; but, he knows that he knows something other people may not know, and the miraculous possession of, not knowledge, but information, in a head that is barren by nature, gives him a perverted judgment and a swelled cranium.


Dangerous Thing Impartial Observer Sufficient Education English Poet English Ideal 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1983

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  • Patricia A. Mcfate

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