1
   

Stupidity: A Real Problem or Not?

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 04:26 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83319 wrote:
It's a skill, that I dear say very few people could do. I respect them for figuring out how to live. At least they are not fear mongering to make a living.

Rich


Yes, indeed. There is that. But are you going to carry a laptop while not fear-mongering? You are right. Very few people could do it. And you are the only one I have heard of who was thinking of doing it voluntarily.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 01:09 pm
@kennethamy,
I found the source for some of those statistics:

New Poll Gauges Americans' General Knowledge Levels

Germany and Brittan didn't do so hot on the Sun/Earth revolution question either:

"Probing a more universal measure of knowledge, Gallup also asked the following basic science question, which has been used to indicate the level of public knowledge in two European countries in recent years: "As far as you know, does the earth revolve around the sun or does the sun revolve around the earth?" In the new poll, about four out of five Americans (79%) correctly respond that the earth revolves around the sun, while 18% say it is the other way around. These results are comparable to those found in Germany when a similar question was asked there in 1996; in response to that poll, 74% of Germans gave the correct answer, while 16% thought the sun revolved around the earth, and 10% said they didn't know. When the question was asked in Great Britain that same year, 67% answered correctly, 19% answered incorrectly, and 14% didn't know."


I wonder who else might be confused?

YouTube - Sherri Shepherd Thinks the World is Flat
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 01:20 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Hi all,

I think it is all too easy to get trapped into thinking that any knowledge that one might have is in some way more valuable or puts that person higher in the pecking order than someone else. We are human beings who are learning - in a different way and along a different path.

Suppose a person doesn't know about astronomy but does know about farming? Is this person higher or lower in the pecking order? Where does farming and construction knowledge lie in the pecking order of those who seek to create one?

I know all about lots of things. I even know how to dance - Salsa, Samba, Swing, Ballroom - but I can't do Hip Hop. Am I stupid because of this? Because I don't know everything?

I would love to test philosophers and scientists on simple pop culture. Things that create relationships between people. How would anyone do when it comes to subject matter that they didn't study or just plain forgot?

I think that everyone is learning in their own way and their own time, and everyone's journey should be respected for what it is, however different it may be from my own.

The question I like to ask, is not whether someone else knows something or not. But rather, what is it that I do not know? What is there for me to explore in life? What more would I like to learn or create?

Rich
Philosopher Jay
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 01:37 pm
@richrf,
Hi Richrf,

You make good points and are entirely correct that we are all well-versed in certain fields and lacking in others. The problem comes in when we live in a democratic system where all people are equal regardless of education in any area.

Let us suppose that a demagogue convinces people that attacking the country of Kafiristan with a weapon of mass destruction is a good idea. Let us suppose that Kariristan has a doomsday weapon that will destroy the world if they are attacked. My life and the world are in the hands of people who know nothing about Kafiristan. So the ignorance or stupidy of people listening to the demagogue is a problem for me if I wish to go on living.

Perhaps the best thing about democracy is that it forces me to use my intelligence to educate others in order for me to survive.

Warmly,
Philosopher Jay

richrf;83479 wrote:
Hi all,

I think it is all too easy to get trapped into thinking that any knowledge that one might have is in some way more valuable or puts that person higher in the pecking order than someone else. We are human beings who are learning - in a different way and along a different path.

Suppose a person doesn't know about astronomy but does know about farming? Is this person higher or lower in the pecking order? Where does farming and construction knowledge lie in the pecking order of those who seek to create one?

I know all about lots of things. I even know how to dance - Salsa, Samba, Swing, Ballroom - but I can't do Hip Hop. Am I stupid because of this? Because I don't know everything?

I would love to test philosophers and scientists on simple pop culture. Things that create relationships between people. How would anyone do when it comes to subject matter that they didn't study or just plain forgot?

I think that everyone is learning in their own way and their own time, and everyone's journey should be respected for what it is, however different it may be from my own.

Rich
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 02:01 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83479 wrote:
Hi all,

I think it is all too easy to get trapped into thinking that any knowledge that one might have is in some way more valuable or puts that person higher in the pecking order than someone else. We are human beings who are learning - in a different way and along a different path.

Suppose a person doesn't know about astronomy but does know about farming? Is this person higher or lower in the pecking order? Where does farming and construction knowledge lie in the pecking order of those who seek to create one?

I know all about lots of things. I even know how to dance - Salsa, Samba, Swing, Ballroom - but I can't do Hip Hop. Am I stupid because of this? Because I don't know everything?

I would love to test philosophers and scientists on simple pop culture. Things that create relationships between people. How would anyone do when it comes to subject matter that they didn't study or just plain forgot?

I think that everyone is learning in their own way and their own time, and everyone's journey should be respected for what it is, however different it may be from my own.

The question I like to ask, is not whether someone else knows something or not. But rather, what is it that I do not know? What is there for me to explore in life? What more would I like to learn or create?

Rich


Right. Someone who knows all about Britney Spears is on the same level as someone who knows about physics. I never thought about that.
Let me help you out. What you seem to know nothing about is how to make judgments and evaluations. You ought to get on to that as soon as you can.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 02:56 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83317 wrote:
......A beggar, for example, knows how to survive by living on the street. They add to the flavor of life. I hope to add these things to other things that I have done in my life - but I know I will not do all. Rich


Hello Rich.

I can appreciate the fact that you have had a successful life. but "adding flavor to life"? Please, my friend, what about it do you find so savoring? I assure you, it is anything but! If you don't mind, please elaborate why you chose those particular words? I understand there are those 'pseudo-beggars" who are truly "mooch's" and the poverty stricken who never beg; please put into context what it is about the word beggar you find "flavorful"? :perplexed:

Thanks,
Wiilliam
0 Replies
 
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 05:45 pm
@Philosopher Jay,
Philosopher Jay;83480 wrote:
Hi Richrf,

Perhaps the best thing about democracy is that it forces me to use my intelligence to educate others in order for me to survive.

Warmly,
Philosopher Jay


The problem with the way intelligence is usually defined, is that there is no way to predict what one can do with intelligence. For example, some very intelligent people got the U.S., into the Iraq war and also were behind the economic catastrophe that we are now experiencing.

So, we are a country of differences in many, many ways and it ends up being what we are.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 06:47 PM ----------

kennethamy;83481 wrote:
Right. Someone who knows all about Britney Spears is on the same level as someone who knows about physics.


Yep. Maybe even more fun to be with in life. I enjoy all kinds of people. Some of the people I dance Salsa with who don't know a wit about physics are great people to be around and enjoy life with. Go figure.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 06:49 PM ----------

William;83486 wrote:
Hello Rich.

I can appreciate the fact that you have had a successful life. but "adding flavor to life"? Please, my friend, what about it do you find so savoring? I assure you, it is anything but! If you don't mind, please elaborate why you chose those particular words? I understand there are those 'pseudo-beggars" who are truly "mooch's" and the poverty stricken who never beg; please put into context what it is about the word beggar you find "flavorful"? :perplexed:

Thanks,
Wiilliam


Part of my life is learning to accept all that nature has to offer. What I call the different flavors of life. Bit by bit I am learning to do this. There is no pecking order in my life. Just people who are acting out their lives.

Rich
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 06:21 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83501 wrote:


---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 06:47 PM ----------



Yep. Maybe even more fun to be with in life. I enjoy all kinds of people. Some of the people I dance Salsa with who don't know a wit about physics are great people to be around and enjoy life with. Go figure.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 06:49 PM ----------


Yop. Fun to be with for those who are interested in Britney Spears. Not for those who are interested in physics. Anyway, what has fun to do with it?
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 06:50 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;83506 wrote:
Yop. Fun to be with for those who are interested in Britney Spears. Not for those who are interested in physics. Anyway, what has fun to do with it?


For me, fun is a fun part of life. Doesn't make someone stupid because they happen to know things that are fun to do. It's a tough call. Would I rather be with someone who knows physics or someone who dances a great Salsa? Hmmm ... Well, in any case, neither is stupid. They just know different things.

Rich
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 07:54 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83509 wrote:
For me, fun is a fun part of life. Doesn't make someone stupid because they happen to know things that are fun to do. It's a tough call. Would I rather be with someone who knows physics or someone who dances a great Salsa? Hmmm ... Well, in any case, neither is stupid. They just know different things.

Rich

Some things are mindless. The adventures of Britney Spears are mindless. And anyone who finds those adventures genuinely interesting, is mindless. I have no doubt that in your case it would be a tough call.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 08:08 pm
@Khethil,
Well, we've descended down quite into the details on what's knowable.

The issue in this thread is concerned with issues of world, national and historical relevance; lack of which would deprive someone of the ability to contextualize their awareness, ability to vote intelligently and have *some* sense of history, in order to be a responsible citizen.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 08:24 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;83518 wrote:
Well, we've descended down quite into the details on what's knowable.

The issue in this thread is concerned with issues of world, national and historical relevance; lack of which would deprive someone of the ability to contextualize their awareness, ability to vote intelligently and have *some* sense of history, in order to be a responsible citizen.


Rush Limbaugh knows lots about history. I just disagree with his conclusion. We all arrive at our viewpoint in life in a different way. Some people, with no sense of history voted for Obama because they liked what they heard.

I'm just not the type of person who tries to elevate myself in the pecking order, by putting some other people down. I think if people wanted to put someone down, they can always start with themselves. Or, as an alternative, why even go there? There are plenty of other things to discuss in the world. But if you gotta go there, you gotta go there. I've certainly heard what beer guzzling college kids have to say about nerds. It goes both ways.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 09:28 PM ----------

kennethamy;83514 wrote:
Some things are mindless.


Are you talking about your own posts?

You on the other hand seem to get your kicks by putting other people down. However, in doing so, you are revealing more about yourself than you might want.

My favorite quote of all time:

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.


Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

Give this quote some deep thought. You will learn a lot about yourself. And if you want to learn about others, just listen to how they criticize others. It is all quite autobiographical - and amazing to observe. I've been observing others criticizing people for years. Sure fire. Never fails. They are talking about themselves. Why this is so? I think it is nature way.

Rich
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 11:25 pm
@richrf,
richrf;83521 wrote:
Rush Limbaugh knows lots about history. I just disagree with his conclusion. We all arrive at our viewpoint in life in a different way. Some people, with no sense of history voted for Obama because they liked what they heard.

I'm just not the type of person who tries to elevate myself in the pecking order, by putting some other people down. I think if people wanted to put someone down, they can always start with themselves. Or, as an alternative, why even go there? There are plenty of other things to discuss in the world. But if you gotta go there, you gotta go there. I've certainly heard what beer guzzling college kids have to say about nerds. It goes both ways.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-15-2009 at 09:28 PM ----------



Are you talking about your own posts?

You on the other hand seem to get your kicks by putting other people down. However, in doing so, you are revealing more about yourself than you might want.

My favorite quote of all time:

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.


Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

Give this quote some deep thought. You will learn a lot about yourself. And if you want to learn about others, just listen to how they criticize others. It is all quite autobiographical - and amazing to observe. I've been observing others criticizing people for years. Sure fire. Never fails. They are talking about themselves. Why this is so? I think it is nature way.

Rich


Are you talking about your own posts?

No, about the interest people have in the doings of Britney Spears. What would make you think I was talking about anyone's posts?
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 04:13 am
@richrf,
richrf;83521 wrote:
... I'm just not the type of person who tries to elevate myself in the pecking order, by putting some other people down. I think if people wanted to put someone down, they can always start with themselves. Or, as an alternative, why even go there? There are plenty of other things to discuss in the world...


Agree completely. The discussion here wasn't intended to label folks without cause - it asks: is a severe lack of knowledge/understanding about relevant current events, history, geography and politics (the basics of our I might term "pre-requisites for being a good world citizen") a problem?

For what its worth, I'll applaud your calling this out. Whether or not anyone else intended, when I sense a superiority complex bursting through, I too have to say something about it.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 04:34 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;83545 wrote:
Agree completely. The discussion here wasn't intended to label folks without cause - it asks: is a severe lack of knowledge/understanding about relevant current events, history, geography and politics (the basics of our I might term "pre-requisites for being a good world citizen") a problem?

For what its worth, I'll applaud your calling this out. Whether or not anyone else intended, when I sense a superiority complex bursting through, I too have to say something about it.


is a severe lack of knowledge/understanding about relevant current events, history, geography and politics (the basics of our I might term "pre-requisites for being a good world citizen") a problem?

From your post, I have no idea whether your answer to this question is, yes or no. I would suggest, however, that people who are absorbed in the adventures of Britney suffer from this lack. (What is Rich calling out? He seems to think that ignorance and stupidity are not a problem because, you can have fun even when you are ignorant and stupid).
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 04:57 am
@Khethil,
No matter how stupid or ignorant a person is, they will be able to teach you something, you'll be able to learn something from them which makes them no more or less smarter than you.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:42 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;83548 wrote:
No matter how stupid or ignorant a person is, they will be able to teach you something, you'll be able to learn something from them which makes them no more or less smarter than you.


I don't want to know about Britney. Anyway, that someone knows something I don't know, has nothing to do with intelligence. You are mixing up knowledge with intelligence.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 06:59 am
@Caroline,
I suppose one could come up with a whole list of 'dangers' in being uninformed (or ignorant, or stupid). One example that comes to mind is part of a news broadcast I saw the other day:
[INDENT]During a 'town hall meeting' discussing healthcare reform, members of the audience were chanting, '... keep your government hands off my medicare!'. Whomever was facilitating the meeting was trying to explain that medicare is a government program already, which drew cries of 'lying' and 'conspiracy'. Even the newscaster had to chuckle.
[/INDENT]Just an example
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:11 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;83565 wrote:
I suppose one could come up with a whole list of 'dangers' in being uninformed (or ignorant, or stupid). One example that comes to mind is part of a news broadcast I saw the other day: [INDENT]During a 'town hall meeting' discussing healthcare reform, members of the audience were chanting, '... keep your government hands off my medicare!'. Whomever was facilitating the meeting was trying to explain that medicare is a government program already, which drew cries of 'lying' and 'conspiracy'. Even the newscaster had to chuckle.
[/INDENT]Just an example


Hi,

Yes, there are certainly all kinds of people. But, can we say that anyone really knows much about the health care reform bill that is now being discussed?

I am very well informed about news in general but I know very little about the specifics of the bill and certainly much less about the impact that the bill will have on the long term cost of health care. On the surface at least, it seems like there are really no provisions for curtailing costs and, as a country, living within our means.

The person who was making those comments about medicare was uninformed. But how many of us are really informed? How many of us have read the bill and understood its ramifications? The bill is a huge bill and my guess is that there is enough ambiguity and uncertainty in it to fill the Grand Canyon. So, being uninformed can come in many different varieties.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-16-2009 at 08:16 AM ----------

kennethamy;83514 wrote:
Some things are mindless. The adventures of Britney Spears are mindless. And anyone who finds those adventures genuinely interesting, is mindless. I have no doubt that in your case it would be a tough call.


kennethamy;83562 wrote:
I don't want to know about Britney.


You criticize Brittney Spears and everyone who finds her interesting. And at the same time you claim you know nothing about her and don't want to know anything about her.

I think that is what this thread is all about. From my point of view, I have met many people who decry that which they know nothing about, and I accept it as part of life. Maybe we are all guilty of that at some times in our lives.

Rich
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 07:58 am
@richrf,
richrf;83568 wrote:
Hi,

Yes, there are certainly all kinds of people. But, can we say that anyone really knows much about the health care reform bill that is now being discussed?

I am very well informed about news in general but I know very little about the specifics of the bill and certainly much less about the impact that the bill will have on the long term cost of health care. On the surface at least, it seems like there are really no provisions for curtailing costs and, as a country, living within our means.

The person who was making those comments about medicare was uninformed. But how many of us are really informed? How many of us have read the bill and understood its ramifications? The bill is a huge bill and my guess is that there is enough ambiguity and uncertainty in it to fill the Grand Canyon. So, being uninformed can come in many different varieties.

Rich

---------- Post added 08-16-2009 at 08:16 AM ----------





You criticize Brittney Spears and everyone who finds her interesting. And at the same time you claim you know nothing about her and don't want to know anything about her.

I think that is what this thread is all about. From my point of view, I have met many people who decry that which they know nothing about, and I accept it as part of life. Maybe we are all guilty of that at some times in our lives.

Rich


What is there to know? She is an air-head, and so are most people who find her interesting (except those for whom she ia a meal-ticket). And, oh yes, I forgot, she does not wear underwear.
 

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