Chad Perrin: SOB

2 March 2008

Always Wear Protection

Filed under: Cognition,Humor — apotheon @ 03:31

Dumbitude is a communicable disease. Wrap your mind in the prophylactic device of clear reason whenever you venture out into the realm of the promiscuous pseudo-intellectual. Luckily, it is a disease that can be treated, but one of its common symptoms — as with alcoholism — is denial. It is only with great luck or cleverness that one may induce the afflicted to submit to treatment.

It is rarely (physically) fatal. Would that it were more lethal to those infected by some of the more particularly chronic strains, for the good of the rest of the species. It is, after all, quite dangerous to the continued life of the free and open mind.

In our intellectual intercourse, it is those with whom we are most intimate that present the gravest threat to the health of our minds. Be vigilant and aware of the dangers of those most promiscuous in their unprotected interactions with others, but more importantly you should take great care in your interactions with those closest to you, for the most inconspicuous hint of infection may take root and thrive when you do not take sufficient steps to protect yourself.

Whenever you detect the nascent symptoms of dumbitude in your intimate companions, it is for their own good that you should illuminate them. Bring them into the stark light of day to be examined. It is in the early stages of dumbitude that one is normally best able to overcome the impulse toward denial, and take steps to begin curing the illness. Be always ready to consider such warnings from others, as well — but never let their warnings take the place of your prophylactic power of reasoning.

6 Comments

  1. LOL, I still have occasional outbreaks.

    I assume this was occasioned by some recent experience?

    Comment by SterlingCamden — 3 March 2008 @ 02:24

  2. A friend and I were commiserating over IMs about the stupidity of people in an online discussion. One exchange went something like this:

    Him: the idea that guns can’t help is so idiotic and unfounded in history it’s a wonder these people don’t fall over dead from sheer dumb. The starving ragtag band of jews in Warsaw held off the Nazis with a collection firearms smaller than the one I myself possess, for longer than poland held them off at the border.

    Me: Dumbitude is a communicable disease. Wrap your mind in the prophylactic device of clear reason whenever you venture out into the realm of the promiscuous pseudo-intellectual.

    I just ran with it from there for this SOB entry.

    An earlier comment in that discussion, which also helped set the stage for me coming up with that statement about Dumbitude, was one I made where I complained about the tendency of some people to respond to a statement of principle and a desire to oppose tyranny with words to the effect of “Ha ha you so funny.”

    I guess, ultimately, the initial cause of the insipiration (that’s inspiration in the form of insipid statements) was this.

    Comment by apotheon — 3 March 2008 @ 03:44

  3. Ok, American Idol is over and I can now divert my attention from the box for a few minutes while they’re setting up the task on Celebrity Apprentice.

    Who cares? I know.

    You’ve raised an important issue here. What to do about dumbitude in my life. Having been the beneficiary of others correcting my level of knowledge I can agree that there’s a need to pass it on to those around me whom I love.

    I do it even though it can be a delicate task. There’s only so much time in a day and some of the things I believe I know take hours to explain and even at that I can never be 100% sure that my loved ones have quite “gotten it”. I see evidence that they do but I seldom know for sure.

    My wife is one who makes me think. She’s quick to pick up on BS which is what dumbitude is all about. Most people, me included, need to have their BS filter purged every once in awhile or they’ll lose their ability to live in reality and will continue to their grave as mindless machines functioning only to meet the needs of their latest masters.

    Sounds rad huh? I can get quite out there from time to time. I’ve probably lost all credibility by now but so what. I have issues.

    I have the luxury of not having to pay too much attention to what other people say. I’m out of work and pretty much house-bound so the only people I do interact with are generally family members. I like it that way. I don’t have to be as cautious with dumbitude coming at me from others. I’m fortunate. Right now I can’t even think of what the latest incident could have been but this being an election year I’ll bet it had to do with politics.

    I rather like your non-technical posts quite a bit more than the geek stuff. You can seriously write at a level that is hard for me to follow. I ask that you might remember that there are people like me that can benefit from your dumbing it down a notch from time to time. You really do have a voice worth listening to even if you do attract some of us (me anyway) from the so-called “black helicopter” community.

    The truth is out there and I wish I knew exactly what it is. You probably don’t know it but you’ve hugely impacted my life thru some kind of weird coincidences that are too long to get into and boring besides. Gotta go for now though. Hoping to see Oma go homa.

    Comment by AlphabetSoup — 6 March 2008 @ 07:35

  4. I rather like your non-technical posts quite a bit more than the geek stuff. You can seriously write at a level that is hard for me to follow. I ask that you might remember that there are people like me that can benefit from your dumbing it down a notch from time to time. You really do have a voice worth listening to even if you do attract some of us (me anyway) from the so-called “black helicopter” community.

    I really appreciate the compliment here — more than one might expect. It’s always good to get some reinforcement for the value of taking the time to say what I feel needs saying.

    I’m planning, at some point when I have the time, to spin off a lot of the geeky stuff into a separate weblog. I just can’t promise it’ll be any time soon. A requirement I’ve set myself is that when I start the new weblog it’s going to involve using weblog software I write myself, as I write the software. That’s a big chunk of the reason for the delay — I first came up with this idea more than a year ago, if I recall correctly (though my sense of linear chronology suffers from a dire disconnect from that of most others’).

    As for dumbing down the material in my nontechnical writings, I’ll have to keep an eye out for stuff that might get a little far outside the realm of the commonly understandable. Be warned, though, that I tend to like to elevate others by example somewhat — which lends itself to being very resistant to “dumbing down”, even to its own detriment. I will definitely try to keep your request in mind, though. Feel free to point out in the future (or even the past if you go back to some of my older material) when I “go off the reservation”, as ’twere, to help me figure out where I can clarify things.

    You probably don’t know it but you’ve hugely impacted my life thru some kind of weird coincidences that are too long to get into and boring besides.

    Now I’m curious. Maybe we should get in touch. Feel free to use my “contact page” link to send me an email (I should test that in the morning to make sure it hasn’t mysteriously broken) if you want to discuss it out-of-band. Also, of course, feel free to say “no thanks” to the offer to discuss it further if you just don’t want to, with no pressure or hard feelings.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Comment by apotheon — 7 March 2008 @ 12:38

  5. My mind needs a stretch every now and then. What I really meant to say was that reading your non-technical posts is so much more enjoyable when you write as if your audience (me) doesn’t NEED to stretch. I think you could be quite a humorist if you set your mind to it. Over the years, reading some of your material has made me laugh right out loud. Keep doing what you’re doing. If there’s ever a point where I seriously can’t grasp what you’re saying on some subject that interests me I’ll ask you WTF? Sometimes I just can’t grasp an idea completely because my educational background isn’t all that I wish it was so I have to dig deeper. Such is life.

    You know me as OnTheRopes at TR. I’m fairly certain that I had mentioned that somewhere in the past. It may also be that you’re aware of that right now before my just now telling you.

    No matter.

    Now that I know you know perhaps you’ll recall the long, drawn out “Interesting Quote” discussion about the validity of the IRS. I was originally lead to posting that discussion by following a link from one of your SOB blog participants then reading other blog comments from there. If you recall the TR discussion at all you’ll remember that there reached a point where I went into Lala land for awhile. Nice place to visit but I don’t want to live there.

    Being exposed to the right information at the right time can cause a major shift of paradigms. That’s what happened to me and it started here on your blog. I view things much differently now than I did even a couple of years ago. I feel that I found some answers for myself that are just too hard to explain to anyone else or I’d give you a detailed breakdown of what’s changed. A brief synopsis? Don’t trust the government. I’ve always said that (since I was in my teens), taught my children that and now I feel that I have excellent reasons, beyond my previous vague notions, to think that I’ve been right about “stuff” all along. Perhaps if my aforementioned education had been broader and deeper I would have come to the same conclusions, the same paradigm shift, much sooner. If my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle.

    The point is that I’m still learning new things every day. My ideas of “what’s happening” are as real and believable as anyone else’s ideas and just as open to ridicule. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That puts me on level ground with others of my species.

    I’ve got nothing to hide so we don’t need to go behind public scrutiny and communicate via email. I have your email address, even your phone number (you have mine). I just have no current need to bug you or interfere with your life other than commenting here in your blog. If ever the situation arises and it becomes necessary to talk to you further, out of the so-called limelight, I do feel free to do just that. Same goes for you. If I ever get out of line or something comes up where you think I could possibly help you, you know where to find me. I have a limited skill-set where it comes to computer technical issues but I’m not totally bereft of knowledge and expertise in other areas, no matter how well or poorly I may represent myself from time to time, both here and at TR.

    It’s Friday! Way past time for world peace.

    Comment by AlphabetSoup — 7 March 2008 @ 09:18

  6. Sorry I haven’t responded before this, AS/OTR. Somehow, I managed to miss the fact that this comment of yours was posted here until today. I really don’t know how that happened — I check up on comment activity pretty much daily (sometimes several times a day, especially when there’s a fair bit of activity).

    My mind needs a stretch every now and then. What I really meant to say was that reading your non-technical posts is so much more enjoyable when you write as if your audience (me) doesn’t NEED to stretch.

    Ah, thanks for clarifying that. I think I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I can really identify when my writing does or does not achieve that end.

    I think you could be quite a humorist if you set your mind to it. Over the years, reading some of your material has made me laugh right out loud. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    I think that’s quite a compliment, and appreciate it. I’ve tried writing humor intentionally, but it generally doesn’t pan out for me very well. My sense of humor comes best when I don’t force it, which tends to mean that it comes pretty sporadically. I might be able to cultivate a higher rate of humor in my writing until it’s almost all humor, but then I might have problems being serious when I want to — and I’d rather have the problem of not being very good at setting out to be funny (and achieving that goal) than having that same problem with being serious.

    If there’s ever a point where I seriously can’t grasp what you’re saying on some subject that interests me I’ll ask you WTF?

    Good. I love that kind of feedback — it helps me refine my ideas and recognize when I’ve made unfounded assumptions about my audience.

    You know me as OnTheRopes at TR. I’m fairly certain that I had mentioned that somewhere in the past. It may also be that you’re aware of that right now before my just now telling you.

    Actually, I figured it out halfway through the other comment of yours that I hadn’t noticed until tonight, which I found before this one — in discussion over here. Something about what you were saying and how you said it clued me in.

    Now that I know you know perhaps you’ll recall the long, drawn out “Interesting Quote” discussion about the validity of the IRS. I was originally lead to posting that discussion by following a link from one of your SOB blog participants then reading other blog comments from there.

    I do recall that discussion. I had no idea that any part of it was inspired by discussion here.

    I skipped over parts of that “Interesting Quote” discussion at the time because the subject kept changing, and I found it difficult to keep up with both that any my usual daily activities (which involve a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and even some work — no, really!) at the same time. I’m perpetually about a month behind where I’d like to be in much of my reading on current happenings, so there’s a constant problem of having to simply decide to skip a lot of interesting material because there’s enough other material ahead of it in the queue that I know I’ll never get to it.

    Being exposed to the right information at the right time can cause a major shift of paradigms. That’s what happened to me and it started here on your blog. I view things much differently now than I did even a couple of years ago.

    That has to be one of the best compliments I’ve ever received — and it’s certainly the best that I recall at the moment for this particular weblog. That I can inspire others to think, learn, and change their views of the world as a result of that thinking and learning, is pretty much the most important goal to which I aspire when I write here, and I have a great big warm fuzzy feeling inside to be told that I’m having such an effect. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this compliment — even if you didn’t mean it as such.

    The point is that I’m still learning new things every day.

    That’s life — (almost?) all the good parts of it, anyway.

    If ever the situation arises and it becomes necessary to talk to you further, out of the so-called limelight, I do feel free to do just that. Same goes for you.

    Excellent!

    It’s Friday! Way past time for world peace.

    That’s one of the best signing-off statements I recall seeing. I’m for it.

    Comment by apotheon — 12 March 2008 @ 11:00

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License