Archive for the ‘ Stupidity ’ Category

Cognitive loading…

“Eight, five, seven, five, three-oh…”

“Twelve! Four! Two! Twenty-six!”

“Eight, five, seven, five, um… Five…”

“Pony! Squirrel! Potato! Potato! Potato!”

“Eight, five, uh… Eight. Five. SEVEN. Eight five seven five three oh…”

“Eight, five seven, five three oh two.”

“Got it! I’ll call you tomorrow.”

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Bumping up the stupidity index…

And this is why one doesn’t trust scientific research to the private sector. That validating a given experiment through research (as opposed to doing new research) should be an issue should come as a surprise to no one — it may be essential, but it’s not hard to see where it wouldn’t be as rewarding.

It also isn’t hard to imagine how many people will read this and go “See? Science. It’s just a theory.”

Why do people become stupid?

This is a question I wish I would have spent more time examining. I devoted an awful lot of time to figuring out how people should think — and almost no time at all into considering how they actually do, which bears very little resemblance to the former. In fact, I’ve found the latter so distasteful that I actually went to great lengths to avoid it.

Earlier today, I came across a post depicting a semi-redacted Facebook wall post in which the poster effectively said “Now call me racist, but I really hate people from country X” — which, as an example, is probably over-generalizing a bit much to be considered an example of true stupidity so much as general ignorance. But I started thinking about the factors likely behind the mistake.

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Yay. I suppose.

Doubtless, the death of Osama Bin Laden will produce such a tremendous volume of analysis that we won’t have a fuckin’ clue what we actually think about it by the time it’s finished.

Which is fine. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it means a whole hell of a lot. I’m glad it’s finally done; I think we probably did the right thing in shooting him in the head. This isn’t a statement I make lightly; I’m a firm believer in due process. But neither do I see that there was a different outcome possible, nor do I think we would have learned anything or benefited from the trial in any particular.

But we’re nowhere near finished even telling one another how one should feel about it.

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Used up

I just spent the last week engaged in an apt, object experiment in budget reduction and austerity measures and before I begin? Let me state unequivocally that this post is not about me — I’m FINE, in relative terms — my concern lies with those much more vulnerable than myself, who will soon experience an even worse set of prospects than they do presently.

Nor is it about whatever measures might be taken to reduce federal spending or reform entitlement spending. What happened in my instance is the product of a policy already in place. In short, apparently after I began receiving Social Security, I became subject to a consideration called ‘spend down’. I’m still not 100% what it means or where it came from, but the material impact is thus: for every $874 I receive in benefits, I am expected to cover $180 in medical costs, to a total of $1080 over a six month period.

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The Great Disaster Porn Freak-Out of 2011

1000 times normal! Meltdown! Evacuations! CHERNOBYL!

After spending countless hours watching burning cows sweep cars and planes onto rooftops from a swell of mud, it isn’t too hard to visualize a failing nuclear reactor evaporating into a mushroom cloud. It’s not just a function of expecting insult to compound injury; there simply aren’t any stories about nuclear plant disasters with happy endings.

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Unemployment

Time to create enough jobs to resume pre-recession levels: 10 years. Total population increase in 10 years: half a billion people. When enough people can’t feed their families?

You get civil wars.

It’s pretty uncomplicated.