Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

People in general cannot be as stupid as they seem. Can they?

with 15 comments

I sure hope not. But then you read things like this article—and read it all. It’s astonishing to me, but then I am more willing than most to try something new if it seems to make sense—and I’ll certainly admit that sometimes the innovation does not pan out. But surprisingly often, improvements really are improvements. And this one, in the article, supported by multiple findings…? And people rejecting it on what seems to amount to fashion…?

I don’t get it. But I’ve long struggled to understand people (which, I suppose, is why I’m always trying to figure out why people do things).

I do note the instant reaction of searching for reasons to reject a change, rather than looking also for reasons to adopt the change and weighing the two.

Maybe it’s in part the fear of change that so frequently is evident.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 June 2011 at 10:35 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

15 Responses

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  1. I stopped riding a bike for this very reason; I tried gel seats but they didn’t keep the numbness away; I suppose because they all had a nose; thanks for the link, now I know.
    To the cloud!

    Zach

    28 June 2011 at 10:54 am

  2. Yes, people can be as stupid as you think and are often even stupider than that.

    Hellfire! The US military still doesn’t allow men to use umbrellas under any circumstances while in uniform, though they do allow the women as long as they’re in Class A’s.

    As for the bike seat – the studies, once published, probably made it worse. What man wants a bike seat that essentially says, “I’ve got ED.” And that would go doubly so for police officers who have to stay in a position of control in all or most situations.

    jonolan

    28 June 2011 at 10:55 am

  3. If there were no smart people then everyone would be stupid ?

    If there were no stupid people then everyone would be smart ?

    Stupid is…as Stupid does….

    I have done some stupid things in my years, at the time I did them, Most of the time I did not think they were stupid. As wiser thoughts prevailed (in hindsight..) I realized they were pretty stupid.

    On other occasions I knew perfectly well I was being stupid but decided to do it anyway. Like smoking for example… I knew it was really stupid to continue smoking but i did it anyway, The president smokes…so therefore is he stupid ?

    Nick

    28 June 2011 at 11:14 am

  4. I think the message I get is somewhat different. Now that this information is known, I see a man with a regular bike seat as saying, “Sex is not important to me,” and a man with the no-nose saddle as someone who is prudent, sensible, and wants a good sex life. The former seems to make bad decisions, the latter to make smart decisions.

    Why would anyone want to proclaim (more or less), “Sex is unimportant to me”?

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 11:15 am

  5. The president is (reputedly) trying to quit smoking (but then he is also reputedly in favor of transparency, human and civil rights, and other such things—a position contradicted by his actions).

    I also have done stupid things, and I’ll probably do more, but I don’t reject facts, I hope.

    Think about this: a young person carefully reviews all the literature and findings that show the deadly effects of cigarettes, and then takes up smoking. I actually knew a guy like that: he was in college when the Surgeon General’s report came out that definitely listed smoking as a cause of lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, etc. And he went out and bought a pack of cigarettes and started smoking. In this case, I think his actions represented some serious psychological issues (he was struggling with his homosexuality, and in that a kind of self-loathing—culturally induced—can result, which might have played a part in the decision).

    Still, smoking is addictive, but (so far as I know) bike seats are not. If it’s known that a particular seat can cause erectile dysfunction, then guys who then choose that seat… what in hell are they thinking?

    And, BTW, a no-nose seat doesn’t say to me that the rider has ED, but rather that the rider intends to avoid ED. That seems quite sensible. But not to some… These must be some easily embarrassed people…

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 11:22 am

  6. Did you vote for Obama in ’08? If so, you both rejected facts in evidence and likely invented “facts” based upon his “nuanced,” Tabula Rasa, almost-but-not-really-if-you-reread-it promises.

    “These must be some easily embarrassed people?” We’re talking about ED. Men, by and large, are so bothered by the thought of it that even the makers of the meds felt it wise to make commercials focusing on “getting over your hang-up” and talking with the doctor.

    But then I’ve long held that that a person can, and often is intelligent and rational, but most often only when not in the presence of a group.

    jonolan

    28 June 2011 at 11:34 am

  7. I can’t see that a preference for Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin truly reflects a rejection of facts and evidence. Indeed, given the facts and evidence at that time, I’d cast the same vote today. Indeed, I see a preference for McCain and Palin as a sign of rejecting facts in evidence at the time. But, of course, both McCain and Palin have their admirers, and I take it that you are among them.

    Being embarrassed about avoiding ED? I’d be more embarrassed to court ED. But I guess different things embarrass different people. Certainly some public statements and positions that strike me as embarrassing (and I’m not talking specifically about Palin, but she’ll do) don’t embarrass the persons making or taking them.

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 11:59 am

  8. It occurs to me that a trade-off is made (in the case of the police): to maintain their image of authority, they are willing to risk ED. I realized that the adverse health effects of high heels has long been known, but women continue to buy them, trading off health for sexual attraction. Maybe that’s wise? Sure doesn’t seem like it to me, but I can’t think of a finding strong enough to make women abandon high heels—individual women, sure (especially after the foot, leg, and back problems hit), but the mass of women and particular younger women? They’re going to wear high heels for sure—mainstream culture only. Back-to-earth cultures have long since rejected high heels (and Barbie dolls).

    I think this is evidence of the strength of memes. See next post.

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 12:37 pm

  9. I have an even better synopsis on conscious stupidity (CS) and obvious consequences:

    The Scenario: Your an up and coming rising star in Congress, you have just married a very attractive and very well salaried woman in the administration and to top it all off,she is with child and as a congressman you have health care for life.

    The Death Star: The implosion comes about by sending semi-nude pictures to people you don’t know, then you lie about it, thinking it will go away and to top it all off you trouble-shoot and damage control your own initial, stupid actions.

    is this stupid upon stupid, like a double stupid ? Does it qualify for a slap over the Head, kind of stupid ?

    Nick

    28 June 2011 at 3:49 pm

  10. Anthony Weiner’s stupidity in that was so obvious and severe that I have to wonder whether it was not aimed at self-destruction (as was my friend’s decision to take up smoking once the Surgeon General had confirmed that it was destructive). I have come to believe that our conscious rational self rides around like a howdah on an elephant, the elephant being the real decider and the consciousness a (rationalizing) passenger, carried along by wherever the unconscious self—the real power—wants to go. After all, consciousness and rationality and all the tools thereunto appertaining are very recent, in evolutionary terms. The unconscious part has had much more time to work things out, as it were. So in cases like Weiner’s, it seems as though the unconscious may have taken over.

    The key, it seems to me, is to recruit the unconscious to help fulfill our conscious efforts—which we do regularly (practicing music, learning a language, and the like). If one can integrate the two in a common effort, quite a bit can be accomplished.

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 4:34 pm

  11. that’s a very good point and requires a conscious rational objective thought process, discipline, perseverance and the willingness to accept change…much like a mathematician’s mind i would imagine :)

    Nick

    28 June 2011 at 5:10 pm

  12. Well, also consider that some are novelty-seeking and some novelty-avoiding by genetic make-up: every species has a good mix of bold (adventurous, novelty-seeking) individuals and shy (home-oriented, conservative) for the good of the species: some must try new foods and new lands, but some must stick with the old and stay behind. The future is difficult to predict, and the two approaches sort of hedge the bets: if either turns out to be the wrong option, at least the other group can go on. Settlers vs. explorers, farmers vs. cattlemen, and so on. I embrace novelty and change, but I understand that this is for some like scraping broken class on a blackboard: they infinitely prefer the familiar, the tried, the settled.

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 6:07 pm

  13. Good analogy, Getting back to bicycles and holding the premise above …would Americans accept the warning label on male designed Kiddy bikes (the ones with the cross bar)

    Warning: Buying a nose seat attached to this trainer may cause “erectile dysfunction in your child” maybe we should recommend these seats to the Chinese or serial rapists , geez…<<>>>> the possibilities are interesting….it’s sort of like a passive or non invasive castration…in a sense

    Nick

    28 June 2011 at 6:54 pm

  14. And voluntary! At least for the police officers mentioned. Perhaps they should be offered more efficient ways to acquire ED, since apparently they want it…

    LeisureGuy

    28 June 2011 at 7:07 pm

  15. Touche ! hahahaha….

    Nick

    28 June 2011 at 7:56 pm


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