I heard a story on either Fresh Air or PRI's The World about the dangers of innumeracy, the lack of awareness about numbers and math. And I've read blog posts on the dangers of being ignorant about science. So it made me wonder: what is the danger of being unpossessing of musical knowledge, or knowledge of the fine arts in general? One could speak of living an enriched life, but is it dangerous to live an unenriched life? It is potentially sad, but are there any studies that show this could lower life expectancy or theories that culturally ignorant people are more likely to act violently towards others? And then what constitutes knowledge. I'm reading a book by Jerrold Levinson, Music in the Moment, that argues against the necessity to have conscious awareness of musical structure in order to "understand" any particular piece. Levinson claims that understanding music is the same as attending to the music as it is being played, no underlying theoretical knowledge need be applied. I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know if I agree with this (I'm leaning towards "no"), but there are certainly arguments that knowing too much about the arts destroys their magical effect. What say you?
PS. My blog seems to be under some sort of attack not by a troll, but rather by someone who enjoys writing violent, misogynistic, and generally sexually immature comments. Anybody else with problems like this?