Ever notice that there’s something way too familiar about all the people you consider stupid? They seem very like the dumb kids in grade school. They behave the same way in every respect.
That’s because they are the same people. The symptoms are:
- Scared of any kind of knowledge.
- Resentful of any kind of intelligence.
- Hiding from any exposure of ignorance.
- Forming groups among themselves.
- Bullying and general cowardice.
They may have “learning disabilities”, although that’s highly debatable. Dyslexia is a serious learning disability, but dyslexics are generally found to be highly intelligent.
The strange thing is that this behaviour couldn’t possibly be more counterproductive at the individual level. It’s a form of progressive suicide, among virtual infants. Destroying their own opportunities, systematically, the dumb kids stay dumb. As adults, they’re normally useless in any capacity, unless they strike something where they have some actual talent, and that’s pretty much impossible in a No Brains R Us social setting.
Just not trying is a disability in anything, too. The social acceptance from other morons is positive reinforcement. Flunked everything, you say? How hilarious, and you’re as dumb as they are? You social butterfly, you.
Chronic underperformers sometimes can (and do) reform and pick up their grades, but it’s rare. Generally speaking, this infantile behaviour is fully supported by social groupings into adulthood.
Academic outcomes, however, aren’t the whole story. We’re at a time in history where supposedly qualified people spend years proving they don’t have a clue. Ridiculous decisions are made on a routine basis. Total ignorance of human need is a sort of governmental tradition.
See any similarities to the baseline of grade school stupid behaviour? Too many? Right. Basic learning enables people to understand critical logic, analyse, and respond properly to situations. Try applying any of those options in context with the dumb kids in school. Doesn’t happen, does it? They don’t do logic, analyse, or respond in any way except the dumbest, usually.
Stupidity as a social liability
It’s bizarre that this even needs mentioning. The general idiocy is so widely accepted that it’s necessary. “People are dumb” is a long-standing working theory for most social and commercial sectors.
The anti-learning habit becomes a default behaviour. Not only do they not learn, they don’t know how to learn. (That’s what grade school is really about; learning how to learn. If you don’t, you’re way behind the eight ball.)
The negative response to being taught is also ingrained by adolescence. It’s an “acquired” learning disability, and a hard habit to break. The un-grown-ups simply react badly to any sort of teaching and training. They refuse to learn. This can be broken, but it needs strong teaching skills and a lot of personal involvement to do.
A modern society cannot be run by ignoramuses, as we all know only too well. Ignorance of basic facts is a total liability to both the stupid and anyone who has anything to do with them.
The inability to understand basic logic is also an issue. Simple logic, like if/then logic, isn’t a skill these people have acquired. More complex logic, like understanding possible ramifications of an action, seems to be totally beyond them; so the inevitable risks of not understanding are amplified to an extraordinary degree.
Ignorance invariably extends to other people. This is “stupid” because it generally doesn’t take into account the likely responses of other people. The number of mass shootings, for example, caused by hostile workplaces is a case in point. As for insane decisions…
Curing stupidity at onset
It can be cured. It’s not a pleasant process, but it’s doable. The negative behaviour is the standout symptom. When diagnosed:
Split up the groups of idiots. They can’t learn how to be stupid if there’s nobody to “teach” them. These groups are problems anyway, so it’s solving two problems at the same time.
Avoid ridicule. The one thing no kid will ever forgive is being made to look stupid. Worse, even among groups of aspiring idiots, it demotes them. A more understanding approach, with a nudge or several in the right directions, will help and at least reassure.
Find out what the problems are!!!! There’s a reason for kids not absorbing information. The reason could be a major issue. Kids are programmed to pick up knowledge, and many teachers will know how fast they can do it. If they can’t, there IS a problem. Find it and fix it. Add as much positive reinforcement as you can, with justification, because it is an achievement to get over these problems for any kid.
Manage the fear. Behind every case is real fear. People instinctively fear the people they think are smarter than they are. These people are seen as real threats, and let’s face it, they can be. You need to correct that impression, preferably using “known smart kids” to help defuse the fear, resentment and overreactions. (This may take some doing. Kids don’t like kids they think are dumb. You need exceptionally tolerant people to help.)
Autism isn’t stupidity or even necessarily a major issue for learning. The chronically misunderstood and misinterpreted autistic spectrum has become so wide. You could be forgiven for thinking the entire human species is “autistic’ to some extent by these remarkably inept spectrum descriptions. If you’re not autistic, you simply won’t understand it. You can, however, help.
The typical withdrawal, the lack of response, asocial behaviour, etc. can be mistaken for “dumb”, but it isn’t. it seems to be more based on trust. Earn that trust, and you’ll dig these kids out of the “dumb kid” tag. Make sure other educators are properly informed, too, because these kids can be super-stubborn. They need consistency in positive support, or they won’t trust anyone.
Bottom line – Stupidity only exists because it’s allowed to exist. It can be cured. It’s easy if you do it at the early stage. At the later stages, it’s extremely difficult. Get it right.