In the opinion of Professor Pitkin (Columbia University), four out of five people are stupid enough to be called “stupid”. That would amount to about fifteen hundred millions of people when he wrote his book (1934). Now would be next to six billion. This in itself is a lot of stupidity!
Certainly stupidity is running the world. It has survived millions of direct impacts, but they haven’t harmed it in the least. For anyone looking at us from outer space, this could be extremely funny. But somehow it doesn’t make me laugh. Incidentally, some have proposed genetic manipulation to cure stupid —the Nazis, and perhaps Michael Jackson, were of the same idea—, but they did not mention whether we must cure stupidity before any genetic manipulation.
In any event, and in a basic biological environment, the “stupidity problem” doesn’t exist. The process is based on the production of an extremely large number of “dumb” mutants. Only very few (the “fittest”) survive, and that’s it. From that point of view, what we see as catastrophe is just another variation in the “natural” course of events. Destructive fires are understood by botanists as a necessary, indeed desirable, step in the evolution of a forest. Millions of living creatures that die in the process may disagree, but their opinion is irrelevant.
In that perspective, solutions are simple and very effective. If there are too many people, all we need is another plague (or any mass slaughter device that will not interfere too much with the overall environment) that can kill 90 percent of the population. The surviving 10 percent, as soon as they get over the shock, are likely to find the resulting environment quite agreeable. They are also likely to be genetically similar: share specific traits of appearance and attitude. If they all had green hair, pink eyes and liked rainy weather, they would soon come to consider the (extinct) people with any other hair or eye color, as well as people that like sunny weather, as rather quaint and “inferior”; their moisture-resistant history books would treat most of us as we treat the Neanderthals.
The destruction or sterilization of our planet, by man-made nuclear (or chemical) power or by collision with some wandering rock, would be an irrelevant detail in a cosmic perspective; and it if happened before the development of space travel and colonization the disappearance of our species (along with the rest of the terrestrial biosphere) wouldn’t cause much of a stir even in our galaxy.
But in the particular biological environment that is set by certain species (such as ours) the system is based on the assumption that the environment can, and should, be controlled; and that each individual in our species (and in other species that we “protect”) should be able to live longer, and more pleasantly, than he or she would in an uncontrolled environment. This needs a particular breed of organized “intelligence”. Therefore stupidity, in this stage and type of biological development, is extremely dangerous.
As we are human, that’s what we need to worry about.
As humor is the best comfort of the bereaved, before immediately populating the future with concentration camps or execution fields, let’s smile with a [intelligent] joke.
A reporter visits a Jew writer in Moscow, and finds him packing in haste; the writer, very agitated, tells the reporter he’s leaving the country that night, because he has learned that they are about to enact terrible discriminatory laws and imprison Jews and architects. “Why architects?” asks the reporter. “Why Jews?” answers the writer.
Think will make you sick; do not forget to get vaccinated!
Stupidity [my contribution] – Dugutigui (some excerpts from “The Power of Stupidity” by Giancarlo Livraghi)