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Archive for the tag “human stupidity”

We are a strange people

There are three types of people in this world: Those who when told to do something by experts or authorities choose to follow the rules; those who only follow some of them in a customized way that suits them best; and those who obstinately refuse to do so.

We are a strange people.

We have demonstrated that worse than a virus that is plaguing humanity is stupidity that, unfortunately, cannot be remedied with a vaccine.

We have heard and seen so much in the past couple of months since the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, that we begin to wonder how mankind has actually survived 2020 years amidst this astoundingly low IQ that is on display everywhere lately. Perhaps it is simply a matter that we now have the means (social media) to make our stupidity more evident and apparent and for all to see. What is even more tragic is that the dumber you seem, the more proud of it you seem to appear.

From the most obvious things that belong in the realm of common sense – from washing your hands, maintaining basic hygiene, and not cramming everywhere – to simple instructions, such as how to (properly) wear a face mask to cover nose and mouth, people are reacting everywhere as if they have been told to become victims of the most horrible and unending punishment.

It is ridiculous how much time and energy we waste in rebelling against something that is supposed to protect us from each other and us collectively from something that is evidently (despite the abundant conspiracies) affecting us in a very negative way, both in health and in economy.

We have proven that we need legislation to regulate even the most common sense issues. But we stubbornly refuse to abide to the laws, because we simply have to object to something, to show that we do not yield to a system that is trying to violate our rights and freedoms, and because we simply do not want to.

Yet, we are aware of every provision of the law and are willing to exercise our legal rights when our neighbour’s dog wakes us up from our afternoon nap, or for any other pedantic reason we find to draw money from the state, or waste time and energy to prove that we are superior to those we ourselves elected to manage a democracy.

We rebel against technocrats and scientists, arguing that they bought their way into their positions. But not everyone is like that. Corruption and nepotism is definitely widespread. But there are people who have worked hard and made sacrifices to be where they are. And they are trying to help.

It is easier to criticise everything and everyone when you are sitting on your couch and have not spent years or grey matter studying. And it is much easier to feel contempt that others justifiably have more knowledge than you and can recommend what to do to keep you safe. It is easier to scorn than to admire. And consequently it is this competitive nature that makes us fight against the tide rather than go along with it.

We believe we are more clever, cunning and astute than the next person. We have ideas – an abundance of innovative trends – that we do not use for something good or useful, but for the most ludicrous reasons, and for our own benefit and interests alone.

We are a strange people.

And the more we try to change others, the more we realise that it is those who couldn’t care less about the world that will end up surviving the longest.


An ancient insult as a way of life

you-idiot - rabbits photo 2“Why should I go to the Agora tonight? I would much rather go and have a drink at the Stoa. It would certainly be more enjoyable!”

“Cleisthenes, you are an idiot!” humphed Anaxagoras and marched angrily away.

In Ancient Greece, being called a “private citizen”, i.e. an “idiot” was considered an utmost insult. To proclaim that you did not care about public life was dishonoring to say the least, for the very basis of democracy was the unity of decisions for the good of all, taken by the people themselves. Only caring for the good of yourself was selfish, to say the least, and above all…idiotic.

In the present day, an idiot has evolved to mean an imbecile, an utterly foolish or senseless person. But it also retains its initial meaning of a self-centered being. And truth be told, we live in a world surrounded by idiots. Multiplying by the day, especially as the ascent of technology simply enables people to isolate themselves all the more from any social contact. Even Albert Einstein had expressed his certainty about the infinite nature of human stupidity, yet he too feared “the day technology will surpass our human interaction, [as then] the world will have a generation of idiots.”

Today, there are so frequent instances in our daily lives where you at one point or other find yourself agreeing with Bertrand Russell and acknowledging that “the trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”.

Indeed all these idiots out there, they all behave so arrogantly, certain that they are so sleek, and can do nothing wrong. They are geniuses who can’t even write or speak in their own language, let alone a foreign one; who proclaim fluency in English, for example, and can’t even write a decent sentence or understand half an elaborate one. They are people who think they are the only ones who have something important to do and expect you to be on stand-by, ready to server their every whim or praise their every effort and minor “achievement”. People who have no shame, no conscience, and no knowledge.

They are the people who can’t do their job properly – like ensure a steady Internet connection or promptly inform you of changes that affect you – and this influences your own life (and very often your very sanity). We can’t change all the stupid people in this world. Even if we do take on them one idiot at a time. But when their poor performance encroaches on your livelihood, then it does become your problem too. And the worst of all: no matter how much you twist and shout, there is absolutely nothing you can do about them. If they can’t see the need to change themselves, no one can shine a light on them either. All you can do is hope for the world to change. But then you’ll be the fool expecting an improvement, in a world that is slowly devouring itself and everyone is simply awaiting that the other will be the one to act.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
― Albert Einstein

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