When I was a bit younger, I used to think stupid people were a problem.
I don't know how I'd define stupid exactly, but you know roughly what I mean. I thought, "Stupid people cause problems."
Now I'm starting to change my mind.
However you define "stupid," I don't think it's stupid people causing problems. There's lots of things I'm unskilled, uneducated, or unsophisticated about, but I tend to know I'm unskilled, uneducated, and unsophisticated about it. If I got into a metalworking shop, I'd quickly ask someone there what I'm supposed to do to stay safe, and then I'd stay the hell out of the way.
You see, I'm stupid about metalworking and metalworking safety, but that's okay. I'm rarely in a metalworking shop, I'd ask for guidance/instructions if I was, and I'd be careful and stay out of the way.
Some people lack all common sense, but even then I don't think they're necessarily going to break something. If you're a boss and you've got an employee who is a hard worker, honest, but lacks common sense, that's okay. Give them clear, simple, precise, repeatable instructions. Have them trained and re-trained before letting them loose on something breakable. Check in on them, encourage them, gently correct when things are wrong.
There's plenty of room for stupid people in the hell. I'm pretty stupid about lots of things, but I manage okay.
I don't think stupidity causes as many problems as I originally thought.
Nah, it's not stupidity. You know what causes problems? People who are oblivious and aren't paying attention.
I reckon most car crashes - are they the result of unskilled drivers, or paying not paying attention? I think the latter. Either someone talking on the cell phone, eating, putting on makeup, or otherwise not paying attention while driving. Or having liquor and being oblivious to your drunkenness and hopping behind the wheel.
Our society places a huge premium on "intelligence" - and frankly, I think it's kind of overrated. I'll write about this some other time. There's plenty of attributes more important than intelligence - work ethic, honesty, loyalty, awareness, persistence, empathy, diplomacy, things like that. For most important things in life, I'd take a hard working, honest, loyal, aware, persistent, empathetic, tactful person who had even below average book smarts over an intelligent person lacking those attributes.
But the real killer is being oblivious and unaware. Not watching the road while you're driving. Not checking and double-checking that all the machines are off. Not putting up signs that construction is happening. Just basic, basic shit that has nothing to do with intelligence. Paying attention to surroundings.
Stupidity can be dealt with. If someone's not good at something, they can learn it slower, or manage around that area, or avoid it, or delegate/defer it to someone else.
You can plan around lack of skill or ability in many areas, or avoid those areas and key in on virtues. Really, I think there's room in the world for people of people of all smarts and lack-of-smarts. Intelligence is overrated, and there's a dozen or so traits I'd look for before intelligence in someone in my life.
Stupid people aren't a problem. Oblivious people, though? Oh, they break all kinds of shit. Oblivious people are a big, big problem. We gotta watch out for them.
Some good points but I think the issue is deeper.
At the bottom being oblivious is about refusing to take responsibility for one's own actions. The type of person who goes around stomping on other peoples metaphoric toes and then when people get angry at them they blame them for their anger problems.
Before a person can stop being oblivious they have to learn to be responsible for the things they cause. They have to know how to admit when they are wrong. This is a very hard thing to do and most people never will. That's why there is so much oblivion in the world IMO.
Finally, I found the right question--its hard to phrase correctly . Self absorption has a great deal to do with it, as does laziness, an overprotective rearing and a lack of social consequence. I see it often--ppl who stop suddenly in busy walkways to look at something, those who don't seem to remember how to use a cardswipe/PINpad,people who are constantly late to the same place at the same time, etc.-- if there were a consequence like getting run over, having to go to back of line to try again, or getting fired, they will change. but in open society, it's ruder to comment on that behavior than it is to commit it, so it persists. I always believed there should be some sort of Stupidity Police that could publicly humiliate for offences (say, a tongue lashing or a "scarlet letter"), but in reality there is no recourse. Prevention is the only practical answer. Allow your children learn from experience (to a degree, of course). But mostly, I've learned to be hyper aware (watching for the telltale signs of impending idiocy), being more deferent (disguised as courtesy) allowing more space/time buffers so I can skirt importunity or at least not let its inconvenience become more than that. And, that's another thing... Have you ever considered that people aren't getting worse, but your perception of this reality has just been heightened. I've noticed that when I let one little inconvenience irk me, the next one is easier to spot and is also that much more irritating, and it snowballs. All in all, the best one can do is not add to the problem by not becoming like them, or worse yet, becoming the Asshole who makes a confused old lady cry in the checkout lane (I've seen that, too. It's definitely worse.) AND remember this, if that's the worst that happens in your day, your still better off than most people around this world.
Ignorance and stupidity are two different things. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge or awareness. Stupidity is the inability to aquire or retain knowledge and a lack of curiosity.
This! You took the words right out of my mind.
I'm currently dealing with a completely oblivious person in my life. She was completely oblivious to how her behaviour is hurting me and it got to the point where I had to end the friendship.
The situation made me realize that she was not able to take accountability for her actions. She was not at fault for how I felt, I was taking things "personally" and she was the victim because I was making her feel like a "bad person" for confronting her about her actions & ending the friendship.
It has been ... bizzare to say the least.
Part of me considers American pop culture, in general, to have a negative impact on society as a whole. A tool is neither good nor bad, but a tool can be used for a positive or negative effect. Awareness in the short term could bring the possibility for change in the long term. So there are things that need to be addressed in the short term so that the problem doesn't become lost in the long term.
The level of resistance to change varies from person to person, but imagine changing a society. That resistance could be legendary, but a tool like pop culture used in the right way might be an efficient manner of introducing the idea and implementing change.
Simple solutions should always be explored first (KISS: "Keep It Simple Stupid"). If there is a simple solution that works as effectively as a complicated one, then it makes more sense to use the simple one. Our society does have a habit of making things complicated, or seem so.
I read an interesting page regarding the ability of people to be open minded. Now, there are things in here that I agree with and things that I don't, but it got my mind rolling.
I've been doing a lot of reading online lately, trying to find out what people think, how they think and why they think those things. At a glance, it seems as if it's a very complex issue. After closer examination, I think a lot of the problems of society are actually fairly simple, same with the solutions. The difficult part comes in actually getting others to acknowledge and believe this, and then implement change. That's what debate is all about, convincing another person to adopt a new view.
I think this is a real issue, one that may be better to try to instill in children, but I don't think it would be impossible to relay that importance to adults. However, it can be difficult to pry open an adults brain and try to get them to accept and add a new idea to their matured belief system, even if the idea is a good one for both the individual and society as a whole. They may wholeheartedly disagree, just for the sake of disagreement.
You have identified a problem, can you identify a solution? I'm not trying to be an ass, I'm just trying to promote a little more thought on this without drawing a bunch of my own conclusions. No need to limit this either, the problem is a large "societal" problem, thus it will likely require a large "societal" solution.
What brought me here? A random thought and a Google search. What was that thought? I see society as being molded. I was thinking about how people think differently and how society could be "molded" to better accommodate for that fact. It starts from day one through parenting and continues for 18 years through the education system and possibly beyond through "higher" level education. Not all of us end up doing what we are best at, and that is where my "random" thought came to be. I asked myself, "Why is this?" and "What can be done about it?".
I have touched on some answers, and they are not simple to implement. I'd have to challenge some of the "greatest minds" of our time. That would be a difficult task, even if one was "well educated", to their standards, and accepted among them.
Very good question. Here we go -
I saw your post offering advice help, so I thought I'd take you up on that. I'm young, pre college, so time is on my side. I'd like to create a web startup at some point in the future, at least that's the dream. Should I focus on homing in on my technical skills, or business skills? Right now, I know much less of the latter, but I recognize its importance in entrepreneurship.
Also, do you think college credentials are as important as real world opportunities? And any reading recommendations would be much obliged. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks so much,
A couple days ago I read a book recommended by Tyler, whose blog is the only blog I read religiously.
Anyway, the book is about mastery, and it really rang true for me. In it the author talks about the different types of people who are NOT masters, and I am pretty clearly one of them. I'm "the hacker".
What that means is that I get some level of proficiency below mastery, get satisfied with it, and don't progress. I'm acutely aware of this - I get to the level where other people respect my skill, but never push myself as far as I could go / would like.