We're All Stupid
This is the classical way to think about the distribution of human intelligence and human idiocy—each person is mostly a concentration of one or the other. But maybe that simplistic view is a good example of our stupid-aspect at work. Perhaps every single one of us is stupid, just not completely.
Capital Thinking • Issue #148 • View online
We like to think we’re smart. Not like those “other folks”. But science pretty much tells us that we’re all stupid - at least, some of the time.
And as much as we’d also like to think our parents and grandparents couldn’t possible have experienced the same pressures that come with a modern society - well, that ain’t the case either.
Maybe we’re not so special after all.
The Problem is That We're All Stupid
The human world is so often portrayed as a noble battle between the stupid and the rest of us, each of us drawing our own smart-stupid line in some way or another between individuals, often corresponding to political, religious, or sports team fanship boundaries, as we see them.
This is the classical way to think about the distribution of human intelligence and human idiocy—each person is mostly a concentration of one or the other. But maybe that simplistic view is a good example of our stupid-aspect at work. Perhaps every single one of us is stupid, just not completely. Clearly there are variations in what we can call “personal style,” but nobody is so smart that they are not also frequently stupid, and vice versa.
The same person can design an award-winning public building and still be defeated by a parking meter with perfectly clear instructions on the side. A hobby chess player can visualize a tree of possible moves five or six deep, but cannot anticipate running out of toilet paper until the moment he does. I somehow created my own dream job, but I’ve had winter tires on my vehicle for at least 48 consecutive months, and I cannot seem to make a doctor’s appointment.
Solzhenitsyn famously wrote—or so the smart people tell me—that the line between good and evil runs “not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either but right through every human heart.”
This seems true with the line between smart and stupid, and each human mind. We are complex apes, with innate abilities to be both profoundly clever and powerfully stupid. This isn’t a contradiction, just two complementary talents.
Read more from David Cain at Raptitude at the link below:
Then Again, Maybe It's Always Been This Way
People want to retire early for a variety of reasons. But our reasons today look an awful lot like the reasons people had in 1957.
*Feature post photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash