Author Topic: Stupidity  (Read 241 times)

Hapu

Stupidity
« on: September 01, 2019, 02:06:58 pm »
I propose this as an ongoing miscellaneous thread for posting topics about stupidity, the first of the Nine Sins of the Church of Satan. It's my favorite of the Nine. In fact it's the only one I ever really think about.

To start us off, here is a great article positing five laws of stupidity:
https://qz.com/967554/the-five-universal-laws-of-human-stupidity/

I especially lose this graph. What do you think of it? And what do you think of the rest of the article?



Etu Malku

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 03:09:28 pm »
Not buying it . . .

Individuals who do not derive any gain and even possibly incur a loss from their actions, like stupid and helpless people, should have a competitive disadvantage vis-`a-vis more opportunistic individuals. One would thus expect that, in the long run, they would lose ground and eventually get extinct.

This, at least, is what would be suggested by the Darwinian law of natural selection or “survival of the fittest”, which is generally accepted as a well-corroborated explanation of the evolution of the species, as well as one of the tenets of Satanism.

On the other hand, for the same reason, rational individuals like intelligent people and
bandits should be expected to be more successful than stupid and helpless people, thus being able in the long run to take over the entire population.

The fact that evolution must be taken into account is indirectly confirmed by Cipolla himself, who writes that the potential for a stupid person to cause damages depends, first of all, on the genetic factor. He even goes as far as to postulate a gene for stupidity, which is inherited by stupid individuals from their parents.

Why, then, despite their apparent evolutionary handicap, can stupid people make up an overwhelming fraction of the human race? They must have some sort of competitive
advantage which makes them particularly fit for reproduction, but how can it be?
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Hapu

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 04:12:22 pm »
Not buying it . . .

Individuals who do not derive any gain and even possibly incur a loss from their actions, like stupid and helpless people, should have a competitive disadvantage vis-`a-vis more opportunistic individuals. One would thus expect that, in the long run, they would lose ground and eventually get extinct.

That could be true if we assume stupidity is genetic. But should we? There's nature, there's nurture, and there's the alchemy of free will.

This, at least, is what would be suggested by the Darwinian law of natural selection or “survival of the fittest”, which is generally accepted as a well-corroborated explanation of the evolution of the species, as well as one of the tenets of Satanism.

Even if we go with the genetic proposition, there isn't only natural selection at play. There are also sexual selection and genetic drift. Stupid people may be inordinately attractive to some members of the opposite sex. (For instance, they're easily exploitable, which may be alluring to some.) Stupidity may also be irrelevant to survival (and even reproduction) in the modern welfare state.

On the other hand, for the same reason, rational individuals like intelligent people and bandits should be expected to be more successful than stupid and helpless people, thus being able in the long run to take over the entire population.

Bandits have a built-in problem wherever law and order have been established. It's hard to get laid (by a member of the opposite sex) when you're in prison. It's even harder to get laid when your corpse is six feet under due to death by cop. However, if a bandit does manage to reproduce, there's a pretty good chance the sex partner is stupid. We could be looking at symbiosis here.

As for the intelligent, well, they do have an advantage, but in our modern society it plays out mostly in the realm of economics. Thing is, it's entirely possible to be poor as dirt and also have six kids.

The fact that evolution must be taken into account is indirectly confirmed by Cipolla himself, who writes that the potential for a stupid person to cause damages depends, first of all, on the genetic factor. He even goes as far as to postulate a gene for stupidity, which is inherited by stupid individuals from their parents.

See all of my comments above.


idgo

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 05:14:53 pm »
To fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of "stupidity", perhaps we should consider the other extreme: High intelligence. Are you acquainted with research such as https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289616303324#! comparing the prevalence of various ailments among populations with above-average intelligence test scores to those of the population as a whole?

While I agree that stupidity in excess is detrimental, I find that it adds an interesting dimension to speculate about how society or even an individual might change if stupidity was simply eradicated from it.

For an evolutionary example of a seemingly detrimental trait actually correlating to enhanced survival in certain environments, just look at the link between sickle cell diseases and malaria resistance (https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/#tabs-1-4 for the lazy)

Liu

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 06:23:20 pm »
In continuation of the morality-thread: That four-fold diagram reminds me of a similar one I scribbled 10 years ago or so.
Instead of
stupid, helpless, intelligent and bandit
it however contained
sadism, masochism, altruism, and egoism.

The arrows had some similarities, though, if a bit of a different arrangement:
The horizontal one whether it relates to negative or positive stuff, and the vertical one whether one wants that stuff to affect others or oneself.

Not saying that sadists are stupid (;)) or altruists intelligent, but might be some food for thought.

Regarding stupidity: I do agree that it at least feels as if it's prevalent. But I also like to think of people as stupid in general, so I might be biased.

Even if we go with the genetic proposition, there isn't only natural selection at play. There are also sexual selection and genetic drift. Stupid people may be inordinately attractive to some members of the opposite sex. (For instance, they're easily exploitable, which may be alluring to some.) Stupidity may also be irrelevant to survival (and even reproduction) in the modern welfare state.
That last would be a modern phenomenon, though, so while it could cause in the long run the spread of stupidity, there nevertheless wouldn't be much any stupidity left if it was the only reason.

But the other points you brought up seem to make sense.

Well, if something is good for reproduction it's not entirely stupid I guess, though.

Etu Malku

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 09:37:43 pm »
Bandits tend to be 'bad' boys or girls and long before they are in prison or 6ft under, they get laid more so than any other of the three, possibly put together  :rolleyes:
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Hapu

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 11:24:41 am »
To fully understand the benefits and drawbacks of "stupidity", perhaps we should consider the other extreme: High intelligence. Are you acquainted with research such as https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289616303324#! comparing the prevalence of various ailments among populations with above-average intelligence test scores to those of the population as a whole?

I wasn't acquainted with that research. A very good and pertinent article! Thank you for posting it.

While I agree that stupidity in excess is detrimental, I find that it adds an interesting dimension to speculate about how society or even an individual might change if stupidity was simply eradicated from it.

I agree. For one thing, the bandits would suffer economic hardship. Without the stupid, for example, no one would be spurred into (foolish and self-destructive) action after receiving an email purportedly from some African prince who needs a bank account into which to deposit his millions.

For an evolutionary example of a seemingly detrimental trait actually correlating to enhanced survival in certain environments, just look at the link between sickle cell diseases and malaria resistance (https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/#tabs-1-4 for the lazy)

Another very good and pertinent article! It raises an excellent point.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 11:28:16 am by Hapu »

Hapu

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 11:35:23 am »
Bandits tend to be 'bad' boys or girls and long before they are in prison or 6ft under, they get laid more so than any other of the three, possibly put together  :rolleyes:

Good point. Certainly a factor to keep in mind.

Hapu

Re: Stupidity
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 12:04:28 pm »
In continuation of the morality-thread: That four-fold diagram reminds me of a similar one I scribbled 10 years ago or so.
Instead of
stupid, helpless, intelligent and bandit
it however contained
sadism, masochism, altruism, and egoism.

Interesting!
I suppose we could correlate the sets of options like so, though I hasten to add that these are imperfect equivalences:
Stupid -> Masochism
Bandit -> Sadism
Helpless -> Altruism
Intelligent -> Egoism

Again, these equivalences are imperfect. I grant in advance the validity of any objections to the above that anyone points out.

The arrows had some similarities, though, if a bit of a different arrangement:
The horizontal one whether it relates to negative or positive stuff, and the vertical one whether one wants that stuff to affect others or oneself.

Not saying that sadists are stupid (;)) or altruists intelligent, but might be some food for thought.

Indeed.

As you can see, I didn't equate sadism with stupidity. Nor did I equate altruism with intelligence.

Incidentally, my two favorite quadrants are intelligent and bandit. My single favorite is intelligent. But I'd rather be a bandit than stupid or helpless, since the latter are defined as getting nothing for oneself.

Regarding stupidity: I do agree that it at least feels as if it's prevalent. But I also like to think of people as stupid in general, so I might be biased.

The success of telemarketers, as evidenced by their ubiquity, would imply a sizable stupid population.

Also spoofing seems to happen pretty often, which implies a sufficient success rate to be worth the trouble and risk, which seems to necessitate a sizable stupid population.

But my word "sizable" is intentionally vague. I have no quantification to offer.
 
Even if we go with the genetic proposition, there isn't only natural selection at play. There are also sexual selection and genetic drift. Stupid people may be inordinately attractive to some members of the opposite sex. (For instance, they're easily exploitable, which may be alluring to some.) Stupidity may also be irrelevant to survival (and even reproduction) in the modern welfare state.
That last would be a modern phenomenon, though, so while it could cause in the long run the spread of stupidity, there nevertheless wouldn't be much any stupidity left if it was the only reason.

True. The enormous increases in human population are also a fairly modern phenomenon, but much of that occurs in countries with less of a safety net than we enjoy in the USA or Europe, so I guess I got nothin' there. Still, in the USA and Europe nowadays, the safety net is surely a factor as we proceed into the future.

Well, if something is good for reproduction it's not entirely stupid I guess, though.

Depends on our point of view. From the perspective of impersonal Nature, yes, you're right, any strategy that facilitates reproduction would have to be considered a sound evolutionary strategy, which would seem to not be "stupid," but we should remember that Nature selects at the genetic level, and at that level, words like "stupid" are just metaphors.
 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 12:06:47 pm by Hapu »