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Thread: On Stupidity

  1. #1
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    Default On Stupidity

    Over the last few years I've been increasingly interested in stupidy as a phenomenon, how it is socially constructed, how our perceptions square with realities, and what the implications of it are on society. It is a peculiar issue in that many people tend to see others as stupid, and if everyone is calling everyone stupid then who is smart? Besides the inner contradictions of this mass phenomenon, and given that the costs of stupidity are all too obvious to intelligent people, I decided to see if I could rationalize any benefits.

    Interestingly, I found that in a given social context, remarkably stupid and insensible comments can actually increase outside the box thinking. For instance, we might say that a statement is stupid just in case it lies outside the range of possibility. In contrast, a sensible statement is one that lies within the range of possibility. So when Malthus claims that infinite geometric growth is impossible against a finite physical base, this statement is sensible in that it demarcates a limitation on what is possible. Yet, we are increasingly learning from quantum physics that possibilities become actualities when they are brought to fruition with the collapsing of wave functions. It would seem then that each of us is bounded by our own range of possibilities, and that the birth of an idea in another, however random and tenuous, in the very least challenges us to attempt to rationalize a possibility that was otherwise foregone.

    This is epitomized in a game of chess, where at a certain point in a game a complicated position is reached. As a sensible person, you immediately scan the board and rationalize a range of possible next moves and eventually decide on one. But imagine a chessmaster appears at the board and tells you to move a particular piece: a move that seems so outside the range of logical progressions and common intuition to you. Maybe it is a queen sacrifice. You sit at the board, mesmerized, trying to rationalize what appears to be an utterly stupid move. Eventually, you realize that there is a mate several moves down to follow that was never considered. What was excluded from your range of possibility, and was ostensibly a stupid move, turned out to be a genius move. Just as life and death, good and evil, creation and destruction, sex and aggression, even right down to a fundamental yes and no require eachother to exist, genius and stupidity in many ways feed off of each other. It is not suprising that historically certain geniuses have made completely outrageous statements that seem beyond sense but therein often lays the cleverness. People are not altogether stupid, they may be mediocre or ordinary but that is something different.

  2. #2
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    A yin and yang aspect.

    So there are not just stupid comments, as you call them, but the ability to detect and know to actuate their power. Knowing potential is key.

  3. #3
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    I would define what you spent the bulk of your post describing as risk-taking ingenuity.

    Stupid is something altogether different. For examples, look at most of the world.

  4. #4
    in-game Gamine's Avatar
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    Default Dear Provoker:

    Stupidity the phenomenon

    The willful ignorance of others is traced to the avoidance of responsibility and negative consequences, from my own perspective.
    "Beware Those Who Are ALWAYS READING BOOKS" - Bukowski

  5. #5
    Lasting_Pain
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    This thread is Stupid Reteard, or Stupid Crazy, or Stupid Wild. Well whatever, words have no meaning anyways, we supply the meanings to these empty shells we call words.

  6. #6
    in-game Gamine's Avatar
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    But Lasting, why don't we study stupidity as much as we try to study intelligence? Shouldn't we seek to understand everything?

    Check out the vid I posted, tell me what you think about it
    "Beware Those Who Are ALWAYS READING BOOKS" - Bukowski

  7. #7
    Lasting_Pain
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinkleToes View Post
    But Lasting, why don't we study stupidity as much as we try to study intelligence? Shouldn't we seek to understand everything?

    Check out the vid I posted, tell me what you think about it
    I will watch it. Report on it later.

  8. #8
    Lasting_Pain
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    Main Entry:
    1stu·pid Listen to the pronunciation of 1stupid
    Pronunciation:
    \?stü-p?d, ?styü-\
    Function:
    adjective
    Etymology:
    Middle French stupide, from Latin stupidus, from stup?re to be numb, be astonished — more at type
    Date:
    1541

    1 a: slow of mind : obtuse b: given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c: lacking intelligence or reason : brutish2: dulled in feeling or sensation : torpid <still stupid from the sedative>3: marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : senseless <a stupid decision>4 a: lacking interest or point <a stupid event> b: vexatious, exasperating <the stupid car won't start>
    — stu·pid·ly adverb
    — stu·pid·ness noun
    synonyms stupid, dull, dense, crass, dumb mean lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions. stupid implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary <stupid students just keeping the seats warm> <stupid with drink>. dull suggests a slow or sluggish mind such as results from disease, depression, or shock <monotonous work that leaves the mind dull>. dense implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas <too dense to take a hint>. crass suggests a grossness of mind precluding discrimination or delicacy <a crass, materialistic people>. dumb applies to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension <too dumb to figure out what's going on>.


    There is no phenomena of stupidity.

    So far, this movie is redundant.

  9. #9
    ThatGirl
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    Nice try.

    If it made sense down the line, then it was never really stupid. Only, hind sight, is rarely so fortunate as to take such a progression. Real stupidity can't be denied.

    amirite?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    There was never a genius without a tincture of madness - Aristotle
    Embrace the possibilities.

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