Stupid #

Stupidity and ignorance are not necessarily the same thing.

Definition of Stupid: #

A failure of the thought process; involving a lack of intelligence, perception or common sense. Something - ill considered, misguided, a cognitive distortion or cognitive dissonance, incapable of thought. Lack of capacity to make sense of logical reasoning.

Thinking is merely electric chemistry. Henry Marsh

It’s almost impressive how cyclical stupidity is. But it’s also instructive as to the key to making sense of something so gobsmackingly senseless,

It’s not Artificial Intelligence we should be worried about; rather natural stupidity and determined studied ignorance. People who revel in, and posture their ignorance. Someone who seems too disoriented to locate the source of their own foolishness, so the foolishness keeps brimming, like a woodland spring.

Synonyms for stupid: #

Absurd, Bizarre, dim, Idiotic, Cretinous, Obtuse, Brainless, Impracticable, Inane, Imbecile, Ludicrous, Dopey Dull, Thick, Slow, Daft Moronic, Unwise, bone-head, spastic, vacuous, psycho, Ridiculous, fatuous, banal, insipid, vapid, gormless clodhopper, lesser marsh mellows, goon, jackass, bozo, dimwit and ignorant numbskull, Imbecilic, logic-free, Xenical-addled appraisals, nonsense – no sense, nescience.

Definition of Ignorance: #

Ignorance by definition is the lack of reliable information, knowledge or understanding.

Synonyms for ignorance: #

unwitting not knowing; naive, unaware, gormless; ignorant; oblivious; unconscious, Nescience - Not scientific.

Some appear not just wilfully ignorant, but arrogant in the extreme.

Their celebratory ignorance is only matched by their supreme arrogance.

Although we’d all agree it’s good manners to pronounce foreign words as carefully as you can, there’s a line beyond which you just sound like a show-off.” Claire Harvey - The Daily Telegraph makes the unusual journalistic decision to advocate for ignorance, in response to the Lucy Zelic’s diligent efforts to pronounce the names of international soccer stars correctly.

All tyranny depends on an ignorant population easily manipulated. Many in the upper classes resisted attempts at universal education because the masses would be more difficult to control. As Orwell phrased it: Ignorance is strength.

“You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.” Doctor Who

Helen Growth Professor of Literary Studies, UNSW Sydney comments on George Eliot’s Middlemarch:

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.

To be stupid, Eliot insists, is a common experience. Even the “quickest of us” are necessarily guilty of stupidity in our efforts to filter the confusing cacophony of “ordinary human life”.

In this sense, stupidity is not a permanent character trait, but a contingent avoidance of the incomprehensible scale of human existence.

Shocked out of the youthful self-absorption that had allowed her to imagine her new husband as a wise and original intellect, Dorothea emerges from her “stupidity” to confront the disappointing reality that her husband possesses an “equivalent centre of self” and an equal proportion of “moral stupidity”.

Matthew Arnold in Dover Beach claimed:

we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

From The Importance of being Ernst: Oscar Wilde Lady Bracknell:

“I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

George Orwell frequently commented on ignorance:

Critical thinking: “It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.” 1984

“Ignorance is strength” - one of the mantras of Animal Farm.

“there are some things so stupid only an intellectual can believe them”.

Intellectual humility is simply “the recognition that the things you believe in might, in fact, be wrong,” Mark Leary, Duke University.

When you explore different topics, ideas, and new ways of thinking, you primarily learn everything else you were ignoring and open yourself up for better cross-domain connection that can fuel creative thinking. Ignorance is not your enemy. You can experiment with ignorance, stare at things you don’t fully understand and be open to learn and adapt new ways to improve your thought process, make better decisions, do your best work.

Socrates: “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

On Stupidity:

Thomas Gray: “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise”


“Two certainties in life; the infinity of space and stupidity and I’m not that sure about space.”

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

Bertrand Russell:

Most people would rather die than think and they often do.”

Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!”

Ken Lord The lunacy was so ingenious, it suspends disbelief.

Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience."

Flaubert: I feel waves of hatred against the stupidity of my era suffocating me.

Bob Beale: One of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century was the extent of human ignorance."

Oscar Wilde, 1891:

“There is much to be said In favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the wider community.”

Groucho Marx:

He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

Matthew Arnold:we are here as on a darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,/Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

Expressions: #

  • conspicuous stupidity, beyond stupidity

_ seriously stupid, manifestly stupid,

  • These people like being stupid

  • The man’s lack of political judgment knows no bounds

  • Not the brightest candle in the chandelier.

  • Not the sharpest pin in the basket

  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

  • Not the sharpest tool in the workshed

  • A few cards short of the pack

  • A beer short of a six pack

  • A few rallies short of a pogrom

  • A sandwich short of a picnic

  • The lights are on but there’s no one home.

  • The driveway doesn’t go all the way to the house

  • all guns blazing and as usual firing blanks

  • Representing the shallow end of the pool.

  • The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but there is no train.

  • Sharp as a marshmallow.

  • As useless as a camera without film.

  • Depriving a village somewhere of its idiot.

  • Thinks “Red China” means dishes.

  • boneheaded, thick-as-two-short-planks numb skullery

  • If he were any dimmer, he’d have to be watered twice a week.

  • Fell out of the family tree.

  • Not just a has-been, but also a won’t-be.

  • “Socks first, then shoes.”

  • With training could be a good paperweight.

  • Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard was asleep.

  • Lack of cognisance - Lack of qualifications to make judgments. - Puerile – childish, immature, infantile, silly, trivial, trifling,

  • Nescience - ignorance Not scientific.

  • Ignorance by definition is the lack of reliable information, knowledge or understanding.

  • “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise”.

Use in Sentences: #

  • How could five candidates so effectively lobotomise the electors?

  • Mindless zealotry’ prevails within the Immigration Department

  • He likes the celebration of his own ignorance

  • He is being staggeringly obtuse.

  • You can’t go broke underestimating the stupidity of the public etc, but the Republicans are really testing this on the Ayers case.

  • Like all other judges and indeed most of the legal system, Bongiorno continues this 19th century infantilisation of the community, on the basis that criminal justice is incompatible with jurors with minds of their own, who must be rigidly guided in their duties by the priest-like ritualists of the legal system, with no one daring to comment from outside.

The Julian McGaurans of the world, rich dullards shoehorned into Parliament where they can’t do any damage to the family businesses, can always be relied on to act stupidly.

McGauran’s been around a long time but learnt nothing. He entered Federal politics in the Joh-for-PM election. He would have seen the Howard-Peacock conflict up close, and the destruction of John Hewson, not to mention the lunatic interregnum of Alexander Downer. And he would have seen the unity under John Howard. But evidently none of it registered in his brain.

Losing Julian McGauran will lift the average IQ of the Victorian Liberal contingent by quite a few points. Today much the same could be said of Angus Taylor.

New Zealanders who emigrate to Australia raise the average IQ of both countries. Robert Muldoon

The boof-headed News Ltd media at the Daily Telegraph and The Australian in Sydney

A blackout is what psychologists call a cognitive closure.

Limited neurological capacity

What its opponents need, as the SMH dimly realises

a cavalier disregard for the facts.

To mindlessly criticise his comments

a man whose record is unblighted by evidence of talent.

A man who comes across as an empty headed character of no discernible principle,

“stupid”. As in boneheaded, thick-as-two-short-planks numb skullery.

Obtuse – insensitive, dull-witted, simple-minded, thick-headed,

‘‘It’s complete nonsense. It’s nonsense on stilts

“puerile and asinine”.

His suggestion is simply idiotic.

Another fatuous argument.

Writing such ill informed critiques

Margot Saville explains grossly undeserved bonuses:

US-based neuroscientist Dr Peter Whybrow, in his book American Mania , theorises that the human brain has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in an environment defined by scarcity. This means that our brains have a reptilian core which is set up to acquire “as much as we can of things such as sex, safety and food.”

Continually rewarding the “lizard core”, such as paying massive bonuses to executives for simply doing their job, weakens the other, more-evolved parts of the brain which oversee social interaction and self-regulation, he says. In other words, if you had spent years getting paid a motza, wouldn’t you find it hard to turn it down?

obtuse \uhb-TOOS\, adjective:

1. Not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect

2. Not sharp, acute, or pointed; blunt in form.

3. (Of a leaf, petal, etc.) rounded at the extremity.

4. Indistinctly felt or perceived, as pain or sound.

When Noam Chomsky suggested that the broadcast of spectator sports served to distract the masses from the difficult business of worrying about what’s important in the world, he hadn’t anticipated Reality T.V. as Trump, a prime example of a burgeoning genre so silly, it distracts the masses from worrying about broadcast sports.

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant” Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the USA):

Dunning-Kruger effect: some people are so stupid, they don’t know they are stupid.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognise their mistakes.

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others”.

Although the Dunning-Kruger effect was put forward in 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger have quoted:

Charles Darwin

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” and:

Bertrand Russell

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”

Many authors have recognised the phenomenon, including the mentor of modern literature, Ezra Pound.

The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats

“Sometimes, the nonsense espoused by seemingly intelligent observers really plunges to unfathomable lows”. Les Heimann