Stupid vs. Evil

November 5th, 2016

It is traditionally held in the United States that there are two major political parties, which can fairly be described as the “Stupid” party and the “Evil” party.

Thoughtful partisans on each side are firmly convinced that their own party is the “Stupid” party, while the opposition is the “Evil” party.

(If you think the situation is less symmetrical than that,  I submit that this is an indicator of your partisanship.)

However, this is wrong.

Both parties, like the electorates that support them, and humanity in general, are about 80% stupid and 20% evil.

8 Responses to “Stupid vs. Evil”

  1. Bob Says:

    So in addition to deciding whether our party is stupid or evil, do we need to decide that about ourselves?

  2. Dave Says:

    I think on average we’re all about 80% stupid and 20% evil.

    Some a little more or less.

    We’re only one or two epsilon smarter than chimpanzees, after all.

    Come back in a few million years (or way sooner if we master genetic engineering) and compare.

  3. Thomas Says:

    In my observation, as a non-partisan, the stupid party and the evil party are the same.

  4. Dave Says:

    You mean the two nominal parties are one party masquerading as two?

    Or that one of the two is both stupid and evil, and the other is neither?

    If the former, many have said so, and as far as their policies go it’s mostly correct. That’s the nature of a two-party system with first-past-the-post elections – each party, even if they have genuinely different principles, has no choice but to move just far enough toward the center to win a majority of the electorate. Which puts them in pretty much the same place.

  5. Bob Says:

    “we’re all about 80% stupid” … “only one or two epsilon smarter than chimpanzees”: Someone’s in a cynical mood today.

    Comparing one human’s intelligence to another is one thing. But if we’re including chimps on the intelligence scale, then the relative difference between (non-retarded) humans is negligible.

  6. Dave Says:

    @Bob – yes, that’s my point.

    If we consider the scale of intelligence to range from atoms to rocks to bacteria to fish to apes to humans…and beyond, it’s obvious that humans are just barely brighter than the brightest apes. And we don’t consider apes very bright. So we aren’t either, compared to something as much smarter than us as we’re smarter than fish.

    This is natural. Humans raised without contact with other humans behave about the same as apes. Our ancestors lived much as apes do, until they became just enough smarter to talk with each other and build knowledge across generations.

    And that was an eye-blink ago on the evolutionary time scale.

    So we’re dumb as apes, plus just a little. Which is pretty dumb.

  7. Bob Says:

    Wow, now we’re extending the scale to rocks!

    Scales need to be useful. You don’t measure the distance to stars in feet and you don’t measure the length of your room in light years.

    If you’re talking about political parties or voters being stupid, the implied scale is different from when you’re talking about humans, chimps, and rocks. (See? I’ve started using the Oxford comma since you suggested it during your proofreading. Let’s see a chimp do that!)

  8. Dave Says:

    Sorry, I see political and social problems as a function of human inadequacy, and in my view that’s a direct consequence of the fact that we are just – barely – smart enough to even *have* a civilization.

    Our recent ancestors (somewhere between H. neanderthalensis and ourselves) were not quite bright enough to move out of the caves.

    We’re just one epsilon smarter than them, and that I think is the ultimate cause of our social problems.

    Taking the long view, we’re still very, very stupid.

Leave a Reply