Hmmm. Well, it’s not really the same thing. I’m sad because someone who I feel should still be really famous is not, while some very untalented people are very well known. This article has not at all changed my opinion on that. We’re not talking about a concept that people haven’t been taught. We’re talking about a name that was once known worldwide but that has now fallen into obscurity, apparently. And that name is attached to a person!
But things change, I guess. Word usage is another thing that changes, and there is clear evidence of this in the title of that article and the Recurse Center Manual it cites. To feign surprise means to act as though you are surprised, even though you are not. But the article is asking us to do the opposite: to act unsurprised, even though we are surprised. It’s asking us to feign unsurprise!
I did, however, enjoy the sentiment of the article, and it’s an approach I like. No, not like. I love it. I grew up being afraid of looking stupid, but these days I’m the sort of person who looks around the room at blank faces and promptly asks the not-actually-stupid question others are too scared to ask for fear of looking stupid. I once confronted a lecturer who tried to tell me “I think your expectations are too high. I think if someone else understood it to the same level you do, they’d say they get it; you just want to understand the tiny detail.” I said, “No, I just don’t get it. Explain it properly.”
So thank you for sharing it. I’m still not sure if it applies here — I was lamenting the need to spell it out in our Medium stories, and I would be surprised (genuinely, not feigning) to find anyone taking the time to respond “Who’s that?” when they could just Google it. But it was a good read.