Thursday, 4 August 2022

Stupidity

by Trevor Watkins 2/8/2022


 “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Hanlon’s Razor


 "Why does the stuff that happens to stupid people keep happening to me?" Homer Simpson


Stupid is as stupid does. Forrest Gump


Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them. George Orwell


'Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.'  Martin Luther King



We live in stupid times. 


In the recent past we have had the computer age, the space age, the nuclear age. The period since 2020 will be remembered as the stupid age. 


As evidence I present

  • our leaders - Biden, Trudeau, Ardern, Ramaphosa

  • our obsession with the climate change myths

  • our obsession with pandemic myths

  • the entire woke ideology - identity, gender, CRT

  • social media

  • the mainstream media

  • the WEF, UN, WHO

  • most African states

  • most Islamic states

  • most communist states

How is stupid defined?

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity is a short essay written by the Italian economist Carlo Cipolla. The first edition was written in English and released in 1976.


First Basic Law

Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.


Second Basic Law

The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.


Third Basic Law

A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or a group of people while they gain nothing or may even suffer losses.


Fourth Basic Law

Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals and stupid ideas.


Fifth Basic Law

Stupid people don’t follow incentives.

The unpredictability of stupid people makes them dangerous.


Stupidity is egalitarian - it is independent of IQ, wealth, race and gender. 


Stupidity is infectious. If you associate with stupid people, there is a real chance you will become stupid yourself.


Stupidity is a behaviour -   stupid people are the ones who harm others and often themselves. They ignore advice, incentives and predictable consequences. They believe stuff for which there is little or no evidence. Worst of all, they don’t know they are stupid, as shown by the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The cure for stupidity

Although often fatal (consider The Darwin Awards), stupidity is not incurable.  Here are some remedies for the condition of stupidity.


  1. Acknowledge your stupidity. Healing only starts when you recognise the problem.

  2. Lean more on other minds. Learn from demonstrably smart people. Read widely. 

  3. Avoid binary solutions. Think in terms of probabilities. Not, "Will X or Y occur?" but, "What is the chance of X or Y occurring -- 10, 50, 80 percent?"

  4. Check your premises. Assumption is the mother of most mistakes.

  5. Define your terms. 

  6. Prefix everything with “in my opinion”.

  7. Some questions aren't open for personal interpretation. 

  8. When you don’t know, say “I don’t know”

  9. Practice common sense and irony

Morality and stupidity

Predictably, morality and stupidity are deeply intertwined. The fundamental rule of morality is “Do no harm”. The basic characteristic of stupidity is doing harm to others without benefit to yourself.

Doing harm to others to benefit yourself is the definition of evil. 


Stupidity by individuals is usually a self-correcting mechanism, akin to natural selection. Stupidity coupled with power has been the downfall of many empires and enterprises. 


The great insight of the Western tradition, exemplified in the American constitution and the works of Adam Smith and John Locke, is that individuals choosing freely is the most successful and least stupid approach to human prospering.

Examples of stupidity


Description

Reason

Consequences

stupid

evil

Critical race theory

Proposes harm to whites, ignores reason

Racism, dissension

Transgenderism

Divorced from biological reality

Harm to children

Communism

Does vast harm to individuals

Poverty, genocide

Socialism

Contradicts human nature

Poverty, discord


ANC policy

Collectivist, socialism

Poverty, confusion


Climate change

Collectivist, wrong

Poverty, profit for some


Pandemic response

Wrong, anti-individual

Poverty, sorrow, death

Great reset

Wrong, unnatural, collectivist

Powerful elites, poverty

Democracy

Coercive for half the population, anti-individual

Invariably devolves into tyranny, requires politicians



Religion

Not based on reason, prescriptive

Often involves force and tyranny





References

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Laws-Human-Stupidity-International/dp/0753554836

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O9FFrLpinQ






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