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Stupidity Defined

I hope to have more to say here soon, but let me fill in the current gap with a New Year’s Gift. When I first read these linked definitions of Stupidity and Intelligence, I must confessed I nearly cried.

Stupidity: a process, not a state. A human being takes in far more information than he or she can put out. ‘Stupidity’ is a process or strategy by which a human, in response to social denigration of the information she or he puts out, commits him or herself to taking in no more information than she or he can put out. (not to be confused with ignorance, or lack of data.) Since such a situation is impossible to achieve because of the nature of mind/perception itself in its relation to the functioning body, a continuing downward spiral of functionality and/or informative dissemination results…The process, however, can be reversed…at any time…”

Knowledge: another process, finally no different, in its overall form, from the one called stupidity. Information is not taken into the human organism so much as it is created from the strong association of external and internal perceptions. These associations are called knowledge, insight, belief, understanding, belligerence, pig-headedness, stupidity. (Only social use determines which associations are knowledge and which are not.) Only their relation to a larger, ill-understood social order decides which categories others or yourself will assign to them.Knowledge: another process, finally no different, in its overall form, from the one called stupidity. Information is not taken into the human organism so much as it is created from the strong association of external and internal perceptions. These associations are called knowledge, insight, belief, understanding, belligerence, pig-headedness, stupidity. (Only social use determines which associations are knowledge and which are not.) Only their relation to a larger, ill-understood social order decides which categories others or yourself will assign to them.

Samuel Delany’s Stars in my pocket like grains of sand, pp. 31-32

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