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Why Are People Dumb?
Old 07-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
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Why Are People Dumb?

No, that's not the conclusion of this article by a known ER.org contributor, from his own interesting site. I thought it was a good article and I agree with him. People aren't dumb at all, but they are apathetic (or ignorant by their own actions). The question is why?

It's often very apparent when people talk politics and personal finance for examples. There certainly aren't simple "right answers" in these areas, but the positions some people take show how little command of the facts/data they have.
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I actually believe that people act fairly intelligently on what they know.
The problem as I see it know is that “most people actually don’t know that much”.
» Musings on postmodernism, ignorance, and my answer to “Do you really believe people are dumb?” Early Retirement Extreme: — written by Jacob Lund Fisker, Freelancer
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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I think that generally people can be bright in one area, but "dumb" (or just inexperienced) in others. Such as Forrest Gump. The movie was fiction, of course, yet there are great examples in the movie.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
No, that's not the conclusion of this article by a known ER.org contributor, from his own interesting site. I thought it was a good article and I agree with him. People aren't dumb at all, but they are apathetic (or ignorant by their own actions). The question is why?

It's often very apparent when people talk politics and personal finance for examples. There certainly aren't simple "right answers" in these areas, but the positions some people take show how little command of the facts/data they have.

» Musings on postmodernism, ignorance, and my answer to “Do you really believe people are dumb?” Early Retirement Extreme: — written by Jacob Lund Fisker, Freelancer
Of course and obviously, people are ignorant of so many things that their only hope is to be good boys and girls and hope that someone will take care of them, which is generally reasonable hope in the same sense that the cow hopes the farmer will take care of her, and he will until her milk production falls off.

One thing Mr. Fisker does not address is that ignorance is related to intelligence. Social and technological complexity increases while at the same time human mental horsepower (taken collectively) decreases due to modern dysgenic breeding incentives, "the people" get not only more ignorant but also more stupid.

This is why democracy and what we call somewhat naively call freedom is a failing experiment.

Postmodernist thought was only a harmless ploy to help professors get laid by their more attractive students, until it became enshrined (as "PC") into political and man in the street thinking. There it gets added to the other socially poisonous poorly thought out trends making our politics and social governance hopeless.

Stay tuned folks!

Ha
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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I like stupid people. They make me look good.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Yeah, because we're so smart. All in the eye of the beholder.

I think a lot of "dumb" is inertia and also that people don't always value the same things.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
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There has to be some dumb people otherwise we wouldn't have anyone to be jurors.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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There has to be some dumb people otherwise we wouldn't have anyone to be jurors.


Good one (considering the current news)...
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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I didn't find Jacob's remarks on postmodernism especially coherent, perhaps because I don't understand postmodernism at all. I decided I needed more background and tried to read the Wikipedia article on postmodernism. But no, it still seems to be gibberish (except I was able to make sense of some parts claiming that postmodernism made no sense).
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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You might find this interesting

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Old 07-08-2011, 12:07 PM   #10
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You might find this interesting

No Mo Po Mo
I'll take a look. In reading over my post above, I see that I need to clarify that the "still gibberish" was intended to refer my own previous efforts to understand postmodernism, not to what you wrote.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:17 PM   #11
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There has to be some dumb people otherwise we wouldn't have anyone to be jurors.
And there is some pretty smart screening criteria/specialists for figuring out which dumb ones to put on a jury.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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If all the dumb people got smart and did LBYM, who would be left to help pay for all the social entitlements?
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #13
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If all the dumb people got smart and did LBYM, who would be left to help pay for all the social entitlements?
Who would need them?
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:48 PM   #14
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Who would need them?
The clueless people...........
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #15
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I like stupid people. They make me look good.
You may be joking but to some degree this is my thinking. Especially as it relates to financial matters. If everyone was as informed and as intelligent as those on this forum, good investing ideas would be harder to come up with. Also, the stuff we like would be more expensive and the places we go would be more crowded, etc.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:48 PM   #16
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I think one big issue is that people use some pretty dubious "shortcuts" in their thinking to avoid expending a lot of time and energy on thinking things through.

My father is a good example. He's plenty smart, but his thought process in choosing who to vote for in the last election was about as lazy as it gets. He basically said that since he's not happy with the way things are being run, he should just vote for whoever isn't currently in office.

The problem with this line of thinking is that if you look at what he actually wants from government, he should be voting a straight Democratic ticket almost all of the time. Note that I am actually more conservative than him on these issues (although still to the left of the current Republicans)

For example--

He thinks that capital gains and dividend taxes should be the same as any other income
He thinks that CEOs pay should be capped in some way, and that they are robbing the country blind
He thinks that corporations and the wealthy should pay higher taxes than they do (mostly by removing their deductions)

That is not the thinking of someone who should be voting Republican. But if the incumbent was a Democrat, he would have been voting for someone who completely disagreed with his own views.

Likewise, I assume that there is probably a very conservative person out there using the same logic to vote a Democrat into office.

Thinking things through takes time, and so everyone ends up using shortcuts to save time.

Sometimes those shortcuts make people do very dumb things.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #17
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Thinking things through takes time, and so everyone ends up using shortcuts to save time.
Sounds like your father is a pragmatist and you're an ideologue. "Throw the bastards out" means, if the current regime is not getting good results, it's time for a change, regardless of whether they're doing things (what you think is) the right way.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:59 PM   #18
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Sounds like your father is a pragmatist and you're an ideologue. "Throw the bastards out" means, if the current regime is not getting good results, it's time for a change, regardless of whether they're doing things (what you think is) the right way.
Basically, yes.

I'd venture to say he believes that after a few times of throw the incumbent out, the politicians will realize they need to follow up on their campaign promises. At that point he could vote straight party ticket and get what he wanted.

Of course believing that to actually work may make him more of an idealist than you'd think.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:00 PM   #19
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I like stupid people. They make me look good.
Yes, and they make early retirement possible for us. Take comfort in this thought whenever annoyed at someone's stupidity.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:56 PM   #20
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People aren't dumb. They just seem that way when I compare my own mind with theirs.
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