Angry Doctor

Monday, September 14, 2009

From somewhere else

Something better than what angry doc can come up with all by himself here.

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  • "Psychiatrist Morgan Levy said, “Thinking like a human” is not a logical way to think but it is not a stupid way to think either. You could say that our thinking is intelligently illogical. Millions of years of evolution did not result in humans that think like a computer. It is precisely because we think in an intelligently illogical way that our predecessors were able to survive."

    I wanted to shout "Pan-adaptationist!" as a reflex action but I should say something more substantial (though not necessarily of more intellectual substance).

    I think there are at least two dimensions in stupidity. One is "factual" stupidity; the other is social stupidity.

    1. People who are both factually stupid and socially stupid are just stupid - there is nothing "intelligently illogical" about them.

    This does not automatically imply that stupidity has adaptive fitness; perhaps intelligence by itself isn't such an important trait to reproductive fitness (either neutral or very weak selection pressure).

    Anyway, for much of human history the ability to survive the first few years (eg. resistance to diseases) was a more critical factor to reach reproductive age than any kind of smartness.

    2. People who are factually brilliant but socially stupid (eg. someone who would challenge a gang leader who used the wrong Hokkien vulgarity to check his Coxford dictionary while cornered by five of his Ah Bengs) are the ones who often laugh at other people's logical errors, but obviously such behaviour does not necessarily translate to enhanced reproductive fitness. It can be a liability instead of an asset.

    3. People who are factually stupid but socially brilliant can't tell their "circular reasoning" from their "Newton circus" but tends to be the ones with all the power and money in the world.

    This (surprise surprise) is due to the simple fact that power and money comes from other human beings.

    Sure, they don't know much about cosmology or evolutionary biology or evidence-based medicine. But they own a sports car and an actual full-sized Army, so you can take your quorum-sensing bacteria and shove it down your gap junction.

    You ask: "Then what about those people who are both factually AND socially brilliant?"


    You can say that they are "well-rounded" individuals. Like Hannibal Lecter. If they are not busy helping you to conquer the world, they are busy eating you alive. Literally.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At September 15, 2009 7:38 pm  

  • "But they own... an actual full-sized Army"

    What wouldn't I give to own one of those!

    Mmmm... Hannibal Barca...

    By Blogger angry doc, At September 15, 2009 7:49 pm  

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