I don’t know if it’s a media trend, or a cultural shift, but I seem to be exposed to more of the richness of human stupidity. I don’t mean the general ‘stupid mistakes everyone makes’ stupidity, or the ‘can’t understand it and don’t care’ stupidity. I mean the ‘screaming in your face and calling you wrong about something about which I have no clue’ stupidity.
Opposition to science, misunderstanding agreed upon premises, simple ignorance of simple logic fueled by a head full of hate and loud voice seem to get more play in our culture than cautious doubt or educational exploration. It’s nothing new or unique. Professional wrestling has outsold sport wrestling for decades. Now it’s the same for our news.
But what’s wrong with me is that I call this stupid. I scream that it’s stupid. I point a finger. I get mad. I raise my voice about it.
We can all think of examples of classes of people who were considered inherently stupid. Nobody bothered to educate them — in some cases it becomes illegal to do so. We all applaud those few examples of people who overcome this and become the person who was supposed to be stupid but became known as smart. The applause isn’t just because they became smart. It’s because they not only had to fight the stupidity we all have to fight within ourselves. They had to fight others’ as well.
I’m not saying I’m gonna stop getting all loudly cranky about stupid people. I’m not even planning to stop. But if I were a better person I would.
Nobody ever got smart by being called stupid.