Ignorance vs Stupidity

“Ignorance can be cured. Alas, there seems to be no cure for Stupidity.”

I believe that people are rather intelligent as a general rule. The ability to reason with the facts on hand, is what keeps most people out of trouble. As long as they get 51% of what they decide correct, they seem to succeed in varying degrees of life.

Having said that, what if… that base knowledge is not there? People were not given enough information in their formative years to make the correct decision later in life? to exacerbate the problem, because the information is not there (ignorance) people making decisions think they have all the information they need to make the right choice to stay free. Then, there is a segment of population that seem to make it their life to make their bad decisions a decree for all others. This is a formula for disaster as can be seen in todays unrest across the nation and the world. viewed through a different lens of the correct information, verses “Fake”, it becomes clear.

Over the years, the Progressive movement has been doing just that. It showed up long before I was just starting grade school 60 years ago. “New Math” is what I remember. I remember my parents a little baffled by it. Today, grandparents are totally baffled by “Common Core”, (not to mention the students parents).

Common Core touts a lot of good things as my daughter (a teacher) seems to think, but it’s what’s not being taught that is the problem. Absence of the real reasons of how our nation came to be, is a problem. What is being taught, as for instance, is that our founding fathers were all slave owners. What is left out, is this was a normal state of society of 1700’s timeline. Many people of commerce as well as well as private citizens owned slaves at that time. You have to understand, not everyone disliked the King of Britain. Slavery was a way of life that was brought over from Britain. It…was…normal…to…own…slaves.

What was unique, was that there was a group of people that thought all people should be free. What a novel concept.

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” —Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

This seems to explain and define the public school system today. How to stay free is not taught. Hence: Ignorance.

Here is a good article on how this works.

I included below the definitions to Ignorance and Stupidity according to Wikipedia.


Ignorance is a lack of knowledge and information. The word “ignorant” is an adjective that describes a person in the state of being unaware, or even cognitive dissonance and other cognitive relation, and can describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts, or individuals who are unaware of important information or facts. Ignorance can appear in three different types: factual ignorance (absence of knowledge of some fact), object ignorance (unacquaintance with some object), and technical ignorance (absence of knowledge of how to do something).[1]



Ignorance can have negative effects on individuals and societies, but can also benefit them by creating within them the desire to know more. For example, ignorance within science opens the opportunity to seek knowledge and make discoveries by asking new questions.[2] Though this can only take place if the individual possesses a curious mind.

Studies suggest that adults with an adequate education who perform enriching and challenging jobs are happier, and more in control of their environment.[3] The confidence that adults obtain through the sense of control that education provides allows those adults to go for more leadership positions and seek for power throughout their lives.

Now, lets look at the Wikipedia explanation of:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchFor other uses, see Stupidity (disambiguation) and Stupid (disambiguation).

This article’s lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article’s talk page(August 2018)

An Allegory of Folly (early 16th century) by Quentin Matsys

Stupidity is a lack of intelligenceunderstandingreason, or wit. It may be innate, assumed or reactive.


Engraving after Pieter Breughel the Elder, 1556. caption: Al rijst den esele ter scholen om leeren, ist eenen esele hij en zal gheen peert weder keeren (“Even if the Ass travels to school to learn, as a horse he will not return”)

The root word stupid,[1] which can serve as an adjective or noun, comes from the Latin verb stupere, for being numb or astonished, and is related to stupor.[2] In Roman culture, the stupidus was the professional fall guy in the theatrical mimes.[3]

According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the words “stupid” and “stupidity” entered the English language in 1541. Since then, stupidity has taken place along with “fool,” “idiot,” “dumb,” “moron,” and related concepts as a pejorative for misdeeds, whether purposeful or accidental, due to absence of mental capacity.


Stupidity is a quality or state of being stupid, or an act or idea that exhibits properties of being stupid.[4] In a character study of “The Stupid Man” attributed to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC), stupidity was defined as “mental slowness in speech or action”. The modern English word “stupid” has a broad range of application, from being slow of mind (indicating a lack of intelligence, care or reason), dullness of feeling or sensation (torpidity, senseless, insensitivity), or lacking interest or point (vexing, exasperating). It can either imply a congenital lack of capacity for reasoning, or a temporary state of daze, or slow-mindedness.

In Understanding Stupidity, James F. Welles defines stupidity this way: “The term may be used to designate a mentality which is considered to be informed, deliberate and maladaptive.” Welles distinguishes stupidity from ignorance; one must know they are acting in their own worst interest. Secondly, it must be a choice, not a forced act or accident. Lastly, it requires the activity to be maladaptive, in that it is in the worst interest of the actor, and specifically done to prevent adaption to new data or existing circumstances.”[5]

Playing stupid

Eric Berne described the game of “Stupid” as having “the thesis…’I laugh with you at my own clumsiness and stupidity.'”[6] He points out that the player has the advantage of lowering other people’s expectations, and so evading responsibility and work; but that he or she may still come through under pressure, like the proverbially stupid younger son.[7]

Wilfred Bion considered that psychological projection created a barrier against learning anything new, and thus its own form of pseudo-stupidity.[8]

Intellectual stupidity

Otto Fenichel maintained that “quite a percentage of so-called feeble-mindedness turns out to be pseudo-debility, conditioned by inhibition … Every intellect begins to show weakness when affective motives are working against it”.[9] He suggests that “people become stupid ad hoc, that is, when they do not want to understand, where understanding would cause anxiety or guilt feeling, or would endanger an existing neurotic equilibrium.”[10]

In rather different fashion, Doris Lessing argued that “there is no fool like an intellectual … a kind of clever stupidity, bred out of a line of logic in the head, nothing to do with experience.”[11]

Persisting in folly

In the Romantic reaction to Enlightenment wisdom, a valorisation of the irrational, the foolish, and the stupid emerged, as in William Blake‘s dictum that “if the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise”;[12] or Jung‘s belief that “it requires no art to become stupid; the whole art lies in extracting wisdom from stupidity. Stupidity is the mother of the wise, but cleverness never.”[13]

Similarly, Michel Foucault argued for the necessity of stupidity to re-connect with what our articulate categories exclude, to recapture the alterity of difference.[14]

In culture

A stereotyped image of American stupidity (later claimed by MAD Magazine to become Alfred E. Neuman), used in an editorial critical of abolishing the poll tax in the American South, with a caption showing the person wants to vote but is too ignorant to understand what voting means

In comedy

The fool or buffoon has been a central character in much comedy. Alford and Alford found that humor based on stupidity was prevalent in “more complex” societies as compared to some other forms of humor.[15] Some analysis of Shakespeare’s comedy has found that his characters tend to hold mutually contradictory positions; because this implies a lack of careful analysis it indicates stupidity on their part.[16]

Today there is a wide array of television shows that showcase stupidity such as The Simpsons.[17] Goofball comedy is a class of naive, zany humour typified by actor Leslie Nielsen.[18][19]

In literature

The first book in English on stupidity was A Short Introduction to the History of Stupidity by Walter B. Pitkin (1932):

Stupidity can easily be proved the supreme Social Evil. Three factors combine to establish it as such. First and foremost, the number of stupid people is legion. Secondly, most of the power in business, finance, diplomacy and politics is in the hands of more or less stupid individuals. Finally, high abilities are often linked with serious stupidity.[20]

According to In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing Disasters, (2003) by Merrill R. Chapman:

The claim that high-tech companies are constantly running into ‘new’ and ‘unique’ situations that they cannot possibly be expected to anticipate and intelligently resolve is demonstrably false … The truth is that technology companies are constantly repeating the same mistakes with wearying consistency … and many of the stupid things these companies do are completely avoidable.

“While In Search of Excellence turned out to be a fraud, In Search of Stupidity is genuine, and no names have been changed to protect the guilty,” according to one reviewer.[21]

In film

Stupidity was a 2003 movie directed by Albert Nerenberg.[22] It depicted examples and analyses of stupidity in modern society and media, and sought “to explore the prospect that willful ignorance has increasingly become a strategy for success in the realms of politics and entertainment.”[23]

Idiocracy, a Mike Judge film from 2006, explored a dystopian future America where a person of average IQ is cryogenically frozen and wakes up 500 years later to find that mankind, increasingly dependent on technology built by previous generations that it does not properly maintain or understand, has regressed in intelligence to the standards of current-era mental retardation, and that he has become the de facto smartest person on Earth. Americans have become so stupid that society faces famine and collapse, and according to Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat, “…each laugh is tempered with the unsettling realization that [Judge’s] vision of mankind’s future might not be too far off the mark.”[24]

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