1386: "People are Stupid"

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Re: WITH BAOBABBIES LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS PRICKLYMOLPS?

Postby speising » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:24 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
speising wrote:unfortunately, randall is pretentious again.

I would like to introduce you to a concept known as capitalisation. It's also known as capitalization in stupider parts of the world. :twisted:


so what's stopping you?

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:31 am UTC

maydayp wrote:you know, I have no problem with the people who didn't understand how it worked (except for those from my province, who some how don't know it's against the law for us to just turn on the pump). My only issue was with the people who insisted that they know the pumps better then me, or insisted that the picture of the debit card sliding into the machine meant you put it in the magnetic strip facing your right side (when it was clear it was supposed to be strip on your left side).

My conclusion from all this is that making good signs is really hard. There are several problems:

- In a familiar situation, people are inclined to try what they know first, and read the sign later if at all. So having an unfamiliar system in a familiar situation ("gas" station, shop...) is going to throw a lot of people.
- People don't like being told what to do without an explanation. There's a door in my office building with one of those crappy mechanical combination locks. There was a sign saying "Don't try the door unless you know the code". It turns out that trying the handle without entering the code can break the lock mechanism. Clearly the real fault is with the terrible design, but because the sign didn't explain this, everyone ignored it. (There's also an element of the previous point: if you see a handle on a door you want to open, you just try it first and ask questions later).
- If your system defies a normal convention, people are likely to make a mistake even after taking some care. On railway and Tube stations in London they have these "Help points" where you can get information or report emergencies. The two buttons are coloured green and blue, but the green button is the emergency one. This is so totally against all conventions (green should be the safe, non-urgent option, and the emergency option should be red) that the clear labelling doesn't help. Yes, I have pressed that green button more than once to find out why my train is delayed.
- Humans are not fantastically good at translating a 2D diagram in to the equivalent relationships and orientation in 3D space. The "insert card like this" is a classic example. Working out how to rotate the card to make it look like the diagram isn't straightforward, and if the strip is on the bottom you've got to somehow show the underside, which means the viewpoint of the diagram is different to the user's viewpoint. Another example is the little diagrams on a cooker hob (stove?) which show which knob works which ring. Even on a familiar cooker it can take me a couple of seconds to interpret it and I probably still get it wrong about one time in five.
- Being in a hurry or panic makes it even harder to achieve the necessary clarity of thought - "Oh crap the potatoes are boiling over - how do I turn them off?! Damn, wrong ring...", or "there are hundreds of people behind me waiting to use the self-checkout at the supermarket, now where do I insert my card..."
- Even when you're not especially pressed for time, it's generally quicker on average to try something first and then start reading the instructions if you fail
- The person designing the sign is liable to have more specialist knowledge of the domain than the user, which can lead to bizarre choices. At Notting Hill underground station, the District and Circle Line platforms are signed "Eastbound" and "Westbound", and yet the official tube map shows the lines as running due North-South at that point. (The platforms designations are either based on the District Line, which does eventually go right out to the East and West, or on the actual directions that the lines run at that point, as opposed to in the simplified topographical model of the map).
- I suspect that some people (and most people some of the time) see signs as being Authority telling them What To Do, and wilfully disobey them on principle, even when they are giving good advice.

Given how hard it is to write good signs, it's almost a joke that we expect to develop something as complicated as a software user interface. The only saving grace is that the latter can be learned through repeated use, whereas signs really need to get their message right first time.
Last edited by orthogon on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:33 am UTC

People that are dumber than me are stupid.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby speising » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:39 am UTC

i wish we had compass directions on our public transport. reading that the train goes to "Mistelbach" or "Gänserndorf" doesn't help you a lot when those places aren't your actual stop and you don't know in which direction they are.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby CigarDoug » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:46 am UTC

Because Tommy Lee Jones' delivery is better than just reading it:

A person is smart, people are dumb
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:55 am UTC

Hey, this far into the discussion and I'm the first to say it's quite possible that more than 50% of all people are below average intelligence (ignoring the usual problems of measuring intelligence in the first place). It's all in the math: exactly 50% are below the median intelligence, but depending on the scale used, whether you include anencephalic babies or terminal Alzheimer's, etc. the average could be well off the median.

So, heck, I'll make up a scaling algorithm. Here goes:

Insanely Brilliant: invents new concepts or technologies.
Very Smart: understands the stuff IB came up with, can engineer improvements
SortaSmart: can learn to use the stuff VS manufactures
Average Fella: Can use the stuff with a lot of coaching from SS
Dumbasa Rock: Cannot understand the concept of sarcasm
Useless Tool: Disagrees with me
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Ideas sleep furiously. » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:59 am UTC

When someone says this phrase, they tend to (and this appears to be the context here) mean it in the sense that both they and the person they are talking to agree on some issue that is not of public consensus. So when questioned as to why this is the case, that is the easiest answer. Obviously in most cases this will be simplistic, but that doesn't rule out the potential situations where it is true. They aren't asking for an award, they are expressing disappointment at other people not agreeing with their viewpoint, and attributing that disagreement to less intelligence on the opposing side. An example of a legitimate case might be something along the lines of 'why can't we all have a utopia where we all help each other', in which case the phrase 'people are stupid' would potentially be appropriate, if 'stupidity' is meant to imply, as someone else in the thread mentioned, a general disability to see logic and an inability to see how one situation would benefit them more than another one. (Though obviously that example's statement is equally simplistic, it illustrates my point.) This comic is the largest of strawmen I have seen in a long time, and I totally look forward to its widespread quotation in situations where it isn't applicable or warranted.

In short, this comic is the smug, self-satisfied trash I'd expect from someone who would otherwise regularly express such a sentiment.
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Hey, this far into the discussion and I'm the first to say it's quite possible that more than 50% of all people are below average intelligence (ignoring the usual problems of measuring intelligence in the first place). It's all in the math: exactly 50% are below the median intelligence, but depending on the scale used, whether you include anencephalic babies or terminal Alzheimer's, etc. the average could be well off the median.

So, heck, I'll make up a scaling algorithm. Here goes:

Insanely Brilliant: invents new concepts or technologies.
Very Smart: understands the stuff IB came up with, can engineer improvements
SortaSmart: can learn to use the stuff VS manufactures
Average Fella: Can use the stuff with a lot of coaching from SS
Dumbasa Rock: Cannot understand the concept of sarcasm
Useless Tool: Disagrees with me

Grr! I'll invent a new way to disagree with you!

Or, at least if someone could coach me I might figure out how to use this pre-existing method of disagreeing with you...

It could equally likely be that more than 50% of people are below average because a few individuals are pulling up the arithmetic mean significantly.

Spoiler:
No, not me. I'm smart enough to realise I'm not very smart, but not enough not to brag about it!
Last edited by eviloatmeal on Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Ideas sleep furiously. » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:16 pm UTC

Kazan wrote:I can prove that people are stupid.

I sincerely doubt it.

Kazan wrote:Women need to have at least 2 kids on average that manage to reproduce. Otherwise the population shrinks and we eventually die out, either in a slow group-suicide where the country simply fades into a pale shadow of what it was, or through war with more numerous enemies.

There is a distinction to be made between the goals of individuals and the goals of the state. In this case, the goals of the individual are winning out. It is far from stupidity, I would hardly want to live in a society whereby I must be a slave to the perpetuation of the state.

Kazan wrote:A sub-replacement fertility rate preceded the fall of Rome, Sparta, countless other cases throughout history. There is no known case where this trend was reversed. And our technology is accelerating the rate of the decline.

Two xkcd comics suffice for both of these sentiments:
Image
Just because those things happened (if they did, I'm no historian), does not mean that the downfall was caused by it.

Image
Not quite the same, but a similar sentiment here. I don't always agree with this particular comic, but it illustrates well against your argument.

Kazan wrote:This would be bad enough on its own, but in addition we have an economic system where the state takes from those who work and give to those who do not work. With a decreasing number of workers and an increasing number of non-workers, this means higher tax burdens on everyone and smaller handouts to each individual as well as worse public services (like, say, hospitals).

I won't argue with the problem with this one, but it is still far from showing us that people are stupid. You have those on top who (smartly) manipulate those on bottom for profit, and you have those on the bottom who, despite any intelligence, can't do anything about it.

Kazan wrote:This would be a disaster on its own, but in addition to this we also have massive and increasing levels of immigration. This is most obvious in europe where our cultures are more than a handful of generations old, but it happens in the states as well. The form is just a little different.

Immigration shows human stupidity how? It only exacerbates any problems there are because of foolish policy, which again, is caused by greed rather than stupidity. One may equate greed and stupidity, but I feel that would be foolish. It is perfectly explained by evolutionary theory how one should make the most of any position they can get, given its societal acceptability, and if doing so involves screwing over everyone else (while they do nothing about it, either because they are blinded or have no power) then that is the most logical form of action. Of course I am not making the claim that evolutionary goals should necessarily be individual goals, must like state goals should not necessarily be individual goals, but it is unsurprising to see large overlaps.

Kazan wrote:Together what this all means is that white western countries are in the process of committing suicide. Economically, racially and culturally. So yes, people are stupid. As in the collective population in our countries. Things like fair and but my feels don't enter into it at all, it's just simple math and elementary cause and effect.

If this were devoid of judgement it may be passed off as science, but that is barely the case. You have failed to establish a connection between the decline of a society and the stupidity of the people, or even that there is anything wrong with the suicide of a society. Personally I think (however unobtainable it may be) that the best route for a society to take is a hedonistic suicide through zero reproduction and a burning of all available resources, though of course this is my judgement, and far be it from me to call anyone stupid for disagreeing.
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby J L » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:17 pm UTC

I'm quite sure at least 51% of all people are of below than average intelligence. That they don't believe this to be possible only proves my point.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby pachinkoid » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:38 pm UTC

it seems odd to me that so many people in this thread neither know what "average" means nor possess the intelligence to read and understand the explanations above.

for example. one person has one. one person has three. two people shy of a million have two.

on average, people have two.

to say that "50% of people have two" is exactly as correct as saying "one person in America is called Dave."

or, again. one person has none. one person has a million and three. two people shy of a million have two.

on average, people have two and a half.

to say that "50% of people have two and a half" is just wrong.

to say that "50% of people have less than two and a half" is the same as in example one.

and why is it called a "mean" anyway?

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby brenok » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:48 pm UTC

pachinkoid wrote:it seems odd to me that so many people in this thread neither know what "average" means nor possess the intelligence to read and understand the explanations above.

I'm having difficulty finding that "many people", maybe you could point them to me?

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:54 pm UTC

pachinkoid wrote:it seems odd to me that so many people in this thread neither know what "average" means nor possess the intelligence to read and understand the explanations above.

and why is it called a "mean" anyway?

Fine.

eviloatmeal wrote:It could equally likely be that more than 50% of people are below average because a few individuals are pulling up the arithmetic mean significantly.

Happy?
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby pachinkoid » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:58 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:Happy?


yes, thanks.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

pachinkoid wrote:it seems odd to me that so many people in this thread neither know what "average" means nor possess the intelligence to read and understand the explanations above.

for example. one person has one. one person has three. two people shy of a million have two.

on average, people have two.

to say that "50% of people have two" is exactly as correct as saying "one person in America is called Dave."

or, again. one person has none. one person has a million and three. two people shy of a million have two.

on average, people have two and a half.

to say that "50% of people have two and a half" is just wrong.

to say that "50% of people have less than two and a half" is the same as in example one.

and why is it called a "mean" anyway?


There's also such a thing as normal distribution. Sure, some factors that were already mentioned might drag the mean a bit, but I doubt it is by a significant margin.

That said, people of average intelligence are pretty stupid, so it doesn't matter.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby FOARP » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:38 pm UTC

Anyone struck by the slight contradiction between today's strip and Monday's?

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby mattt » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:47 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:Anyone struck by the slight contradiction between today's strip and Monday's?

I'm not sure I see what you mean. I did wonder, though, what's going on in Randall's life to have two somewhat mean or sarcastic strips appear so close together. It's rather off-putting, frankly.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

I would like rebut today's comic with this:
Image

Kazan wrote:I can prove that people are stupid.

Women need to have at least 2 kids on average that manage to reproduce. Otherwise the population shrinks and we eventually die out, either in a slow group-suicide where the country simply fades into a pale shadow of what it was, or through war with more numerous enemies. A sub-replacement fertility rate preceded the fall of Rome, Sparta, countless other cases throughout history. There is no known case where this trend was reversed. And our technology is accelerating the rate of the decline.

Right now the entire western world, with the exception of France (where a third of the population consists of immigrants) are below replacement level, and many have been for thirty years.

This would be bad enough on its own, but in addition we have an economic system where the state takes from those who work and give to those who do not work. With a decreasing number of workers and an increasing number of non-workers, this means higher tax burdens on everyone and smaller handouts to each individual as well as worse public services (like, say, hospitals).

This would be a disaster on its own, but in addition to this we also have massive and increasing levels of immigration. This is most obvious in europe where our cultures are more than a handful of generations old, but it happens in the states as well. The form is just a little different.

Together what this all means is that white western countries are in the process of committing suicide. Economically, racially and culturally. So yes, people are stupid. As in the collective population in our countries. Things like fair and but my feels don't enter into it at all, it's just simple math and elementary cause and effect.
Well, you've more than proved your point.
However, not in the way you were trying to, I would imagine.
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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby speising » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:51 pm UTC

sure, the reply in the comic only makes sense if you define stupidity by IQ, which is defined as a normal distribution. but that's not the only possible measure at all.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:55 pm UTC

Everyone is stupid. EVERYONE. We are just stupid in different ways. A doctor knows a lot about medicine, but may know less than most about car repair. He doesn't know how to change a tire. Therefore he is stupid. But if he thinks that he change a tire without anyone showing him how just because it's easier than heart surgery, that makes him an idiot.

For a real case, look at Steve Jobs. Jobs was smarter than most. He thought he was smarter than his doctors, who warned him about his fruititarian diet. Eating nothing but fruit is a good way to fuck up your pancreas, to say nothing of protein deficiency. So his pancreas got fucked up. He ignored his doctor's advice for cancer treatment, and opted for homeopathy instead. So this smart guy was too dumb to live.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:00 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:eh, I work in a gas station, so I really don't have much faith in people's intelligence. But also, IQ intelligence is different from actually knowing stuff (like were africa is... I know someone who, at 17 thought it was part of the US. (we are Canadian btw.). Or being able to read a simple diagram telling you how to insert your debit/credit card into a gas pump to prepay.

So stupid means ignorant fairly frequently in my book (though the type of ignorant depends on the situation).


I am constantly amazed at how many people I have to explain sales tax to.

Sales tax is not new to this state, nor am I particularly close to jurisdictions without it.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:06 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Everyone is stupid. EVERYONE. We are just stupid in different ways. A doctor knows a lot about medicine, but may know less than most about car repair. He doesn't know how to change a tire. Therefore he is stupid. But if he thinks that he change a tire without anyone showing him how just because it's easier than heart surgery, that makes him an idiot.

For a real case, look at Steve Jobs. Jobs was smarter than most. He thought he was smarter than his doctors, who warned him about his fruititarian diet. Eating nothing but fruit is a good way to fuck up your pancreas, to say nothing of protein deficiency. So his pancreas got fucked up. He ignored his doctor's advice for cancer treatment, and opted for homeopathy instead. So this smart guy was too dumb to live.


I think you are confusing "stupid" and "ignorant". I know next to nothing about car repair, but that doesn't make me stupid, it just makes me ignorant on the subject. The thing that makes me stupid is that I'm arguing about this on the internet.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Emperor_Z » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:08 pm UTC

Not sure I care for this one. Seems like it's based on a false premise. Since when did stupid come to be defined as being relative to the rest of the population? If you said something about the average person having a low IQ, you'd be factually wrong, but stupid is pretty much a subjective term to begin with.
Last edited by Emperor_Z on Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:38 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:26 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Everyone is stupid. EVERYONE. We are just stupid in different ways. A doctor knows a lot about medicine, but may know less than most about car repair. He doesn't know how to change a tire. Therefore he is stupid. But if he thinks that he change a tire without anyone showing him how just because it's easier than heart surgery, that makes him an idiot.

For a real case, look at Steve Jobs. Jobs was smarter than most. He thought he was smarter than his doctors, who warned him about his fruititarian diet. Eating nothing but fruit is a good way to fuck up your pancreas, to say nothing of protein deficiency. So his pancreas got fucked up. He ignored his doctor's advice for cancer treatment, and opted for homeopathy instead. So this smart guy was too dumb to live.


I think you are confusing "stupid" and "ignorant". I know next to nothing about car repair, but that doesn't make me stupid, it just makes me ignorant on the subject. The thing that makes me stupid is that I'm arguing about this on the internet.


Deal with enough people and you will learn there isn't a difference. And in context of the comic, it works. But it's when stupid gets mixed with confidence that you get the idiots. Stupid people who know they are stupid are ten times smarter than the slightly above average people who think they are geniuses.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby EraObserver » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:44 pm UTC

speising wrote:unfortunately, randall is pretentious again.


I hate to say this, but since Randall does come here I will- honestly, the man needs a vacation. His comics have been sub-par for at least the last month (although that jet pack comic was enjoyable...).

I'm probably causing an angry mob to form around me for saying this, but I stand by what I said. You may commence the ritualistic heretic burning.
*Insert witty comment*

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby capefeather » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:45 pm UTC

Maybe the point of the comic is that people often do talk about stupidity in a fallacious manner. As it's been pointed out and/or demonstrated in this thread, there is a tendency for people to remember the stupid stuff that we see, simply because they're more noticeable. There are also those people who think that their ideology is the best and that everyone who has any sort of objection is stupid. I doubt that Randall would contradict himself from his previous comic, and the title text provides a huge hint as to the real target of his message. Hell, I bet he read responses to his Monday comic and this caused him to make this one.

At the end of the day, people are stupid. That is, people are stupid compared to their own expectations, not the expectations of me or people I agree with. It's kind of pointless to bemoan how stupid people are compared to me, because that just feeds into my cynicism and reduces my motivation to make a positive impact on the world. Now how stupid would that be? This is a major criticism I have of many ideologies and religions.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Nix_Seb » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

EraObserver wrote:
speising wrote:unfortunately, randall is pretentious again.


I hate to say this, but since Randall does come here I will- honestly, the man needs a vacation. His comics have been sub-par for at least the last month (although that jet pack comic was enjoyable...).

I'm probably causing an angry mob to form around me for saying this, but I stand by what I said. You may commence the ritualistic heretic burning.



It pains me to agree but I really do. :(
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Re: 1386: "Stupid People are Stupid"

Postby operagost » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:55 pm UTC

HES wrote:50% of the population are below average intelligence.

What percentage aren't good with math?

100 + 100 + 100 + 70 + 100 = 470
Average is 470/5 = 94

Only 20% of the population scored below the average on this test.

Distribution is not always even. Also, having 50% BELOW average doesn't account for the expected quantity of people who are, you know... exactly "average".

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Zacen299 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:03 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Klear wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Everyone is stupid. EVERYONE. We are just stupid in different ways. A doctor knows a lot about medicine, but may know less than most about car repair. He doesn't know how to change a tire. Therefore he is stupid. But if he thinks that he change a tire without anyone showing him how just because it's easier than heart surgery, that makes him an idiot.

For a real case, look at Steve Jobs. Jobs was smarter than most. He thought he was smarter than his doctors, who warned him about his fruititarian diet. Eating nothing but fruit is a good way to fuck up your pancreas, to say nothing of protein deficiency. So his pancreas got fucked up. He ignored his doctor's advice for cancer treatment, and opted for homeopathy instead. So this smart guy was too dumb to live.


I think you are confusing "stupid" and "ignorant". I know next to nothing about car repair, but that doesn't make me stupid, it just makes me ignorant on the subject. The thing that makes me stupid is that I'm arguing about this on the internet.


Deal with enough people and you will learn there isn't a difference. And in context of the comic, it works. But it's when stupid gets mixed with confidence that you get the idiots. Stupid people who know they are stupid are ten times smarter than the slightly above average people who think they are geniuses.



Okay I felt the need to make an account to point this out by stupid and ignorant are separate you physically cannot be both. If you need the definitions they are.
"Idiot: Someone who has knowledge but does something knowing it's wrong or dangerous anyways."
"Ignorance: A lack of knowledge."

An idiot is someone who knows what a car sounds like and knows what it will do when it hits him but steps in front of it while trying to cross the street despite knowing it will hurt him. Someone who is ignorant is someone who crosses the street because they don't see or hear the car and who doesn't understand that red does not mean cross. Big difference there and if you can't see it I don't know how to make you see it.

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Klear
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Re: 1386: "Stupid People are Stupid"

Postby Klear » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:14 pm UTC

What percentage aren't good with math?

100 + 100 + 100 + 70 + 100 = 470
Average is 470/5 = 94

Only 20% of the population scored below the average on this test.

Distribution is not always even. Also, having 50% BELOW average doesn't account for the expected quantity of people who are, you know... exactly "average".


I sincerely doubt that intelligence doesn't have a roughly normal distribution.
Last edited by Klear on Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1386: "Stupid People are Stupid"

Postby DR6 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:17 pm UTC

operagost wrote:
HES wrote:50% of the population are below average intelligence.

What percentage aren't good with math?

100 + 100 + 100 + 70 + 100 = 470
Average is 470/5 = 94

Only 20% of the population scored below the average on this test.

Distribution is not always even. Also, having 50% BELOW average doesn't account for the expected quantity of people who are, you know... exactly "average".


IQ follows a normal distribution, so 50% of people do have below average IQ.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby dp2 » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:22 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:I would like rebut today's comic with this:
<picture of George Carlin>

It has always disappointed me that Carlin either didn't understand averages or was willing to purposely perpetuate an incorrect understanding of them for a joke.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

See also Terry Goodkind - Wizard's First Rule - before he disappeared up Ayn Rand's butt later in the series.

The eponymous rule is paraphrased as "People are stupid" and expanded (more-or-less) as "people can be tricked into believing something because it's something they want to be true, or because it's something they're afraid is true".

But that's probably not what Randall was thinking.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Crissa » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:35 pm UTC

Groups can be really super-smart - if they're collaborative. But generally, they act really stupid. Or asleep. Because invariably when discussing a people in general the majority won't have the appropriate specialization or attention to the topic, so of course they act stupid - each one has to be like an ant, seeing only a tiny fraction of what's there to see.

While I include myself in 'people are stupid', - that doesn't mean that White hat was not implying 'other' people. Cueball's reply infers that he knew more about how White hat talks.

-Crissa

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Kodomo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:36 pm UTC

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_M._Cipolla#Allegro_ma_non_troppo:

These are Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity:

1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

2. The probability that a certain person (will) be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.



In the wiki, there is a longer explanation, but seems pretty good analysis.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Khaz » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:42 pm UTC

Oh Randall. Love xkcd to death but now and then you just piss me off with a preachy statement like this.

I frequently say that people are stupid. And they ARE. You don't understand WHAT I'm saying though - I am not comparing people to other people. People, compared to other people, are averagely smart. People compared to me is a subject best left untouched for fear of egotism.

People, however, are stupid as hell when compared with how smart they NEED to be. YES, I AM saying that people do not meet my expectations for intelligence. Because I expect the dominant species of life on an entire planet to be smart enough to keep themselves alive as an absolute minimum, and maybe to not commit daily genocide of every other species too. The human race has fallen WAY short of my expectations. Even I don't meet them, but hell, at least I TRY to.

When I say "People are stupid", I generally mean "If people keep up the way they are they'll destroy themselves". Which is true. You can argue all you want about the relative intelligence of us to anything else we know but the result is the same: People are stupid. People are TOO stupid to survive. You can be all high and mighty with your linguistic semantics, feel smugly superior by consigning everyone who thinks "people are stupid" to your pile of "people you think are stupid" and be a hypocrite, be my guest. But you're not changing the fact that idiots rule this place and they will probably kill us all.

I DID lose all my faith in humanity. It was a real tangible fucking event - I used to have it and I do not now. Dismiss that if you want. Why should I care that nobody else cares? Do other people have to care about something for it to be important? Hahahaha no. The most important things in our world are things basically nobody cares about already. In fact, I take it as a sign that something is very important when people generally don't care about it.

People are stupid. Deal with it Randall. I dare you to maintain your point of view while you're being incinerated by a nuclear warhead, probably sometime next year or so.

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Xenomortis » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:46 pm UTC

Khaz wrote:I dare you to maintain your point of view while you're being incinerated by a nuclear warhead, probably sometime next year or so.

History suggests this won't happen.
Image

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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby Brace » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:59 pm UTC

Good comic. Vague and poorly targeted misanthropy makes me uncomfortable. It's fine to think less of other people, but you have to have good and specific cause, otherwise you're being irresponsible.
"The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves" - Albert Camus


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Re: 1386: "People are Stupid"

Postby 80-watt Hamster » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:46 pm UTC

People are stupid in general inasmuch as people, ALL people at some point or another, do stupid things. And as previously noted, those things tend to stick out in our memory. But "People do dumb stuff sometimes", while more accurate and less cynical, doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely.


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