Stupid People: What They Believe and Do
Believe what you want, but stupidity is the most pressing issue of our time. Evidence suggests that there are more stupid people, just outright idiotic folks, than ever before in the history of our planet.
And let me just say that we all do stupid things at one time or another, so doing a stupid thing doesn't necessarily make you stupid forever, but doing the thing certainly makes you stupid at the time you're doing it. The issue here is about repeat stupidity. So if you're doing a lot of these things over and over again, you might be permanently stupid. If you believe a lot of these things then you're probably stupid.
Are You Stupid?
So what defines stupidity? That is the question I'm going to try to answer with this column by listing a wide variety of things that stupid people believe and do.
Let's start with the easy stuff.
- Stupid People Drink and Drive - And by drink, I mean drink alcohol. Now, I suppose one could come up with an explanation why some people drink and drive that involves the impairment of their senses and/or alcoholism, but I am generally going to exempt those people. I'm writing specifically about people who knowingly do this. I mean, if you're an otherwise intelligent human being who's slipped a Ruffie and wakes up in the middle of traffic, you get a pass. But by and large, people who intentionally drink and drive are stupid. If you knowingly go into a bar to get drunk by driving yourself there knowing that you are going to drive yourself home, then you're an idiot. You are not only intentionally risking your own life, but you're potentially endangering others. I've actually known a person or two who got drunk, got in a car, and killed somebody else (or an entire family in the case I'm thinking about). Stupid.
- Tie helium-filled balloons to their lawn chairs - It always seems like some idiot is attaching a bunch of balloons to his favorite lawn chair and then floating in front of a 747. I think we can all conclude that this is the behavior of a stupid person, though the really stupid person forgets to bring a way to deflate the balloons to get himself down, so there are clearly levels of stupidity.
- Talk on their cell phones and drive - The data doesn't lie. Talking on your cell phone increases the chance of having an accident by a factor of four. Now who, in their right mind, would want to knowingly increase that risk? Stupid people, that's who. People for whom talking on the phone is more important that their safety and the safety of others. Data shows that talking on your cell phone while driving is effectively like driving while drunk. And since most of us do this, it just shows that we're becoming dumber as a society.
- Shoot themselves accidentally - Look, this doesn't mean you're permanently stupid, but you're pretty stupid. I once had a roommate who shot himself in the foot. I just think that if you're so stupid that you don't know how to use a gun, shooting yourself in the foot is pretty lucky. Your stupidity could have resulted in a lot worse.
- Believe President Obama isn't qualified to be President because his father was born in Kenya - This was just something I heard on NPR from somebody in Mississippi or Alabama during an interview. He said that he didn't think Obama should be President because it says in the Constitution that you can't have a parent born in another country so that family allegiances wouldn't be called into question. This was stupid on so many levels I don't even know what to say. First of all, the Constitution doesn't say that. However, I'm sure this guy was all upset because maybe he thought Obama wasn't born in the U.S., but he was, so that reasoning is stupid too. There are lots of justifiable reasons to dislike Obama. Try not to pick ones that make you stupid.
- Stick things up their butt that they can't get out - My mother does medical transcription and has done so for many years. While not violating anyone's privacy, she used to come home with stories of medical mishaps on a regular basis. One of the stories that happened over and over again was about guys coming into the emergency room with things stuck up their butts, like carrots. Occasionally there's be a really bad one, like a light bulb. While I understand some people's need to put things up their butts, the difference between a stupid person and a not stupid person is that the not stupid person puts something up their butt they know they can get out. And if you're going to stick a carrot up your butt, tie something around the end of it so you can pull it out.
- Fail to understand the relationship between water and electricity - A consistent problem for stupid people is the inability to understand that water conducts electricity. Basically, if you got a list together of every stupid thing stupid people did over the course of a month or something, about 50% of them would involve electrocution or near electrocution because stupid people don't understand things like dropping a blow dryer in the tub will likely kill a person. So stupid people blow dry their hair in the tub. Stories abound of stupid people doing things like jumping in the lake during a lightning storm to protect themselves and bathing with the radio on sitting on the side of the tub.
- Don't consider consequences - It's almost always the case that stupid people get characterized as stupid because they find themselves in situations where if they had just thought through their actions, they never would have performed the action in the first place. Like "hey, I think I'll put this nail gun in my mouth and pull the trigger" or "I'll put this lighted candle in my toddler's bed so he can see when he wakes up" - stuff like that. It's universal that one thing that makes stupid people stupid is that they don't stop to think what things might happen as a consequence of their actions.
- Believe what you hear without researching it - Stupid people generally believe anything that anyone tells them. However, usually stupid people have a set of beliefs and they look for affirmation of those beliefs. Thus, stupid people who believe that the moon is made of cheese tend to read periodicals that support the notion that the moon is made of cheese and watch networks that consistently reiterate that the moon is made of cheese. Since these stupid people have found support for their irrational belief, they don't bother to check out other sources that argue that the moon is not made of cheese. They prefer to go on assuming that it is. In a way, this is the very definition of stupidity - the inability to think independently or challenge one's own beliefs through investigation.
- Darwin Awards. Homo Sapiens Sapiens, on the verge of extinction. January 2012
The Darwin Awards. The Evolution Revolution 2012. The Darwin Awards declares an evolution revolution: Human intelligence MIA and presumed dead. Details on the impending extinction of Homo sapiens sapiens, the human race, follow.
- Stupid People
- Stupid People - Quotes About Stupidity