Intellectually inbred individuals who whose intellectual experience is limited to a single domain, culture or genre.

Western culture has historically been very good at turning out individuals who are blind to the glories of other cultures. Intellectually inbred individuals also include:

You're likely to be intellectually inbred if you receive more of your intellectual fodder by a single genre (sci fi, modern novels, classic literature, comics, technical documentation, newspapers, TV, films, pulp romances, civil war documentaries, wildlife documentaries, the WWW, UseNet, E2, MTV, …) than all other genres put together.

Many geeks are intellectually inbred, many for example assume that Unicode contains no embedded cultural assumptions (hint: it assumes the primacy of written language); that most modern languages are easily representable on the internet (hint: try Hindi) and that Robert A. Heinlein invented utopian novels.

Interestingly enough, although Western culture is notorious for its condescending and unsympathetic attitudes towards the foreign and the different, it is only an open culture that could find itself in this predicament in the first place.

If one lived all their lives in the Amazon forest, never coming into contact with the rest of the world either through travel, visits by other travellers or some form of verbal communication, one could not be accused of being intellectually inbred because the frame of reference for their cultural scope of knowledge would be completely different - more self referential, less comparative etc.

A narrow mind is something that can only exist in a wide world. It is not incumbent upon us to know any more than is necessary for our day to day survival, and althouh I myself try to educate myself on foreign customs and beliefs, and sneer at those who are only interested in what goes on in their back yard, I can't, upon rational reflection, really justify this behaviour.

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