Link of the day

Seven Varieties of Stupidity, by Ian Leslie

They are: pure stupidity, ignorant stupidity, fish-out-of-water stupidity, rule-based stupidity…

Very often, stupidity isn’t derived from an absence of mental materials but from a superfluity of them. It is the product of all the stuff we carry around in our minds and absorb from others: powerful algorithms, bad theories, fake facts, seductive stories, leaky metaphors, misplaced intuitions.

… overthinking stupidity…

You can trace a fundamental divide in Western thought between those who believe that knowledge and rationality invariably make us smarter and those who warn they can also make us dumber. On one side, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Voltaire, Paine, Russell; on the other, Socrates, Montaigne, Burke, Nietzsche, Freud, Wittgenstein. The latter group includes thinkers who are, in their different ways, interested in the ways that human intelligence generates a unique kind of stupidity.

… emergent stupidity

In my book CONFLICTED I show how avoiding open disagreement reduces the collective intelligence of any group. The more that members of a group follow a rule like ‘agree with the consensus’ or ‘agree with the leader’ the less gets contributed to the general pool of ideas and arguments. The shallower the pool, the more likely it is that something stupid will crawl out from it.

… and ego-driven stupidity

The truth is that stupidity is often an act of will: people make themselves stupid, when it suits them.

Go read the whole thing.

My collection (part 3 of 82)

Julieta Venegas, Andar conmigo
The Rolling Stones, Angie
Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman

Live versions not so good as the studio one, I’m afraid.

You ain’t nothing but another man’s woman… Not very elegant to say, absolutely not advisable writing it today, but nevertheless one of the most powerful sentences in lyrics you’ll ever hear, …living on another man’s land… Is there anything more basic or primitive, and so, honest, pathetic and also convenient, for a male to feel when he’s dumped by a female?

Anyway, the song’s terrific.

Esclarecidos, Arriba y abajo
No sé muy bien qué es ser feliz,
ni me preocupa demasiado,
pero cuando estuve cerca
tú estabas a mi lado
Schubert, Auf dem wasser zu singen

God is right, and weak, and that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

«Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, “We’ve sinned against you, for we went away from our God and served the Baals.”

The LORD replied to the Israelites, “When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines, Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites oppressed you and you cried out to me, didn’t I rescue you from their power? But you have gone away from me and served other gods, so I won’t rescue you anymore! Go cry out to the gods you’ve chosen. Let them rescue you in the time of your distress.”

The Israelites responded to the LORD, “We’ve sinned. Do to us whatever you see as right, but please save us this time.” They put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And the LORD could no longer stand to see Israel suffer».

[Judges 10, 10-16]

Visca la vida ara i aquí

Deride no-end their looks, their ingenuousness, their very simplistic worldview, their communal ethos, whatever.

But have you ever heard any hippy telling you how to live or not to live, what to think or not to think, what to say or not to say, or metooing and de-platforming you?

No. Above all, they valued freedom and agency, theirs and the other ones’.

Same as, above all, the woke value submission and control, theirs and the other ones’ —especially the other ones’.

You choose.

Sisa, Visca la llibertat

My collection (Part 2 of 82)

The Beatles, Act Naturally
Los Ronaldos, Adiós papá

I left home rather precariously and not with my parents’ approval, so I was surprised and grateful at my father’s giving me a modest quantity of money to let me have a start —a money he certainly wasn’t at all in excess of.

In fact, I must say I’m more grateful now than I was at the time. But I’ve been stupid for a long time in my youth and later, so that’s self-explaining.

Those were (from June 1989 to February 1991) hard times for us, in regard to money. And some time after, as well.

Supertramp, Ain’t Nobody But Me

… gonna lie for you, gonna die for you

Ain’t no fish in the sea,

gonna sigh for you, gonna try for you

Then, many years later the person who made those words actual was born.

Dick Hyman & Howard Alden, All of Me / The Peanut Vendor
Maria Dolores Pradera, Amarraditos