25 Jun 2013

Shifting the fulcrum

As some may have realised Jumbie and I were both fascinated with George Carlin recently. To dispel any ‘mysteries’ from cropping up, we do share a lot of information about current events and other stuff. That’s easy to do if you have ‘Google Hangouts’ on cell phones (aka mobile phones if you’re English), and on computers. It’s like the conversation just continues.

Well, interestingly the late George Carlin had made a career of insulting the stupid; from pleb to politician.  Carlin was more than just a comedian. Comedy was his angle to get into the human psyche and getting people to reflect. My strategy – which is shared by other writers is polemic and frontal assault.

However, I’ve been coming to a realisation in recent months, and it’s been spurred on by George Carlin actually. I realise that Carlin wrestled with stupidity much of his time. He’s gone. His videos live. He made money. People in more or less same percentages remain stupid. I think I rightly conclude that stupidity is incurable – not that it’s my aim to cure it. Punishing the stupid may provide pleasure but my realisation now is that it’s a waste of my time.  See my thinking below:

  1. Stupidity [S] is far more common than wisdom [W].
  2. I’d estimate the ratio  S:W =  4:1
  3. That means the chance of me encountering stupidity is pretty high.
  4. Theoretically I could be spending the order of 80% of my life’s hours dealing with stupidity, if I allow the numbers to prevail over me – as they have up to this point.
  5. This means that I could be wrestling with stupidity most of my life and not getting myself forward – if simply ruled by the numbers.
  6. It also means I could be missing bigger opportunities to further myself, if I get tangled up with people and situations that take me nowhere.
  7. Pleasure derived from suffering fools is actually counter to my principles of pleasure seeking. Mea culpa –  it takes time to discover a weakness that is so, pleasurable.

Based on the above self-assessment here's the new plan:

  1. I will punish less fools by conscious effort. No I can’t give it up completely  - and shouldn’t. Wisdom is better appreciated when contrasted against human stupidity. So I have to stay in touch with the stuff; just less of it.
  2. I will also avoid more fools so as to manage the situation and better manage my time.  No – this doesn’t mean I avoid people who disagree with me or have a drastically different point of view. Don’t be stupid.
  3. People who are unable to demonstrate application of core principles of critical thinking and to self-correct, stand a good chance of being deselected from my circle of contacts. Sure – they’ll be given fair and prolonged opportunity. But this is not like employment where they are performance managed. This is like dropping a hot potato – it happens suddenly. I said ‘people’ which means any living thing that meets the criteria for being defined as ‘people’.
  4. I will be spending more of my time seeking out wisdom and wise people – and learning from them.
  5. I will be reading more of the writings and listening to the utterings of the wise.

I have outlined what stupidity means in different places. The concept is wrapped up in things like application of critical thinking – so it isn’t simply about people having a different view to my own, at all. I relish new perspectives, just not stupidly new perspectives.  So that’s it! It’s all change. Some will have seen it coming, some will think I’ve been joking, and some will ‘feel’ because they’re.. just stupid.

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