rebeccawatson

Stupidity

Nov 7th, 2012
580
Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. Extract from _Prometheus Rising_, Robert Anton Wilson
  2.  
  3. ===
  4.  
  5. This planet is, to put the matter baldly, populated and largely controlled by domesticated primates who are not in all respects reasonable men and women. Voltaire may have been exaggerating when he said that to understand the mathematical meaning of infinity, consider the extent of human stupidity; but the situation is almost that bad. Millions have been murdered by stupid leaders or stupid mobs, for stupid reasons, in every century; and the bizarre (accidentally imprinted) reality-tunnels which make this possible continue to rule us and robotize us.
  6.  
  7. Nor is stupidity the exclusive possession of one group or another; you do not need a "vocation" for it as you do for the priesthood. It seems to be a contagious socio-semantic disturbance which afflicts all of us at one time or another. Notorious examples can be found in the lives of the great. As we have already mentioned an exact measurement of the extent of stupidity among the learned is provided by the fact that every scientific revolution takes one generation. Elderly scientists hardly ever accept a new theory, however good it is, and the revolution is only completed when a second generation, free of the old imprints, with vulnerable neurons, imprints the new reality-map.
  8.  
  9. But if science, the paradigm of rationality, is infested with enough stupidity to cause this general one-generation time-lag, what can we say of politics, economics and religion? Time-lags of thousands of years seem to be "normal" in these areas. Indeed, it was through contemplation of religious history that Voltaire was led to his conclusion that human stupidity approximates to the infinite. The study of politics is hardly more inspiring. Let us just summarize the matter by saying that stupidity has murdered and imprisoned more geniuses (and more ordinary people), burned more books, slaughtered more populations, and blocked progress more effectively than any other force in history.
  10.  
  11. It may be no exaggeration to say that stupidity has killed more people than all the diseases known to medicine and psychiatry.
  12.  
  13. Intelligence is the capacity to receive, decode and transmit information efficiently. Stupidity is blockage of this process at any point. Bigotry, ideologies etc. block the ability to receive; robotic reality-tunnels block the ability to decode or integrate new signals; censorship blocks transmission.
RAW Paste Data