Friday, September 01, 2006

the maxims of stupidity

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
~ Gustave Flaubert

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
~ Voltaire

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
~ George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
~ Unknown, Hanlon's Razor
Hmm. Yes, hmm. Let us think on this. How stupid are we? One cannot deny that there are many people that seem stupid. In fact, every person will at one time or another do a stupid thing. But one cannot say whether said person will realize what they have done is stupid. Smart people do stupid things. I regularly do and say stupid things. I could quote many people I know who have said stupid things to me in particular. Let me quote myself from a conversation two days ago, "Oh yeah, Lindsay bought a house. She has carpet in her basement. (silence) Now, I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say," etc. At this point the other party (who was male) bursts out laughing. It seemed stupid anyway, which was enough to make it stupid, whether there was a point to stating the obvious or not. Oscar Wilde believes stupidity is a sin.
There is no sin except stupidity. ~ Oscar Wilde, The Critic As Artist, Pt. II
But I think there are worse things than being stupid.

There are entire books about stupidity:

Amazon.com says this: "Matthijs van Boxsel believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. In The Encyclopedia of Stupidity he shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization."

If no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity, then the aforementioned Libby and I must be semi-intelligent to have concluded weeks ago: The answer to every question is, "Yes, I am stupid."

What else can I say? I can spend my whole life trying to be non-stupid and most people wouldn't notice. We are all condemned as such, one in the same, by many a stupider person.

1 comment:

rbounful said...

The following are some of the things I have given up because I have gradually come to understand that I am too stupid. Actually after many years my stupidity was relieved by just enough for to know that it I’m too stupid and too human to

1 ) learn Greek
2) overcome my ingrained habits
3) make mom really happy. Except sometimes.
3) be sincerely glad to see someone I used to know fairly well.
4) care significantly about anything except my self and my children
5) be a shining example of anything
6) be special in any particular way.
7) have anything turn out the way I tried for or expected it too.
8) be socially at ease around churchy people.
9) know anything.
10 prevent anything.
11) believe anything in this life is very important. (except suffering)
12) have anything but the most peripheral effect on other people.
13) have big answers to big questions make me happy
14) make it worth my time to look for big answers.
15) know anything about anybody, especially about myself
16) make all the studying I have done more important than playing parlor games.
17) realize that love or happiness is anything more that neuro-chemicals that come and go whenever they want to.

However, because I am stupid and human
18) I think that there are nice people that are dead who try to help us out.
19) I have hope that there is some point to this mess
20) realize that there isn’t the slightest chance of knowing what happens when I die.
21) finally, because I am stupid and human I don’t think that anything is more important but human suffering
22) and finally because I am stupid and human I am stupid enough to believe that I can somehow minimize human suffering.

By the way, in order for stupidity to be a sin, there would have to be people in significant numbers who have a mentality significantly elevated above that of a slobber worm. Obviously this is not true, so Oscar Wilde was just being stupid. If you have ever read anything about his life, you will realize that he was one of the most stupid men to have ever lived.

Love, rbounful

So long, and thanks for all the fish.