Note: It’s much more fun to listen to Cleese say this than to read it. So if you can, click here and watch him on YouTube. Read along and see if you move your lips.
“I think the problem with people like this is that they are so stupid that they have no idea how stupid they are.
“You see, if you’re very, very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very, very stupid? You’d have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are.
“There’s a wonderful bit of research by a guy called David Dunning at Cornell, who’s a friend of mine, I’m proud to say, who’s pointed out that in order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place. Which means that if you’re absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills that you need to know that you’re absolutely no good at it.
“And this explains not just Hollywood, but almost the entirety of Fox News.”
—John Cleese, citizen-philosopher and minister of Silly Walks, “John Cleese on Stupidity,” YouTube, 2014 (Thanks to alert WORDsters Barry Kort, Ann Berry and many others who apparently monitor stupid issues.)
• Editorial Comment: There are so many applications of this wisdom on stupidity that it’s hard to know where to start.
PeezPix by Ted Pease
After Yesterday’s Rain, Arcata, California
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Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD
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