What is an idiot?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Rydian, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Rydian
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    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    We see people being called idiots in two common situations.
    [*]Displaying ignorance.

    The actual definition for "ignorance" is simply when one person is unaware of something somebody else knows. For example, right now you're ignorant of what color boxers I'm wearing. The person who's unaware is ignorant of that specific fact. We see it all the time here.

    Is it correct to call a show of ignorance stupidity? That depends on what it is they don't know. I'll quote a friend of mine here.
    • If somebody doesn't know what color boxers I'm wearing, can we blame them?
      It's not something that holds any importance in daily life outside of perhaps one or two isolated situations, so I say no.
    • If somebody doesn't know that an R4-Hyper 5 Christmas Edition (with sprinkles) won't play the latest games, can we blame them?
      It's not to be expected that they know (and the companies will purposely hide this fact), so I say no.
    • If somebody doesn't know how many sides a triangle has, can we blame them?
      In modern countries it's to be expected that this is taught at an early age and re-enforced later, so I say yes.

    [*]Incorrect choices/priorities.

    We often see people making "stupid" decisions.

    Let's say there's a kid that refuses to clean under his bed because he thought he accidentally crushed a mouse under there (when in reality the brick he slid under there didn't even touch it). He's more afraid of his parents finding out than getting told to clean under his bed for the 8th time. Somebody that's not inside the kid's mind could easily just think he's prioritizing being lazy over doing some cleaning, when it's not really the case. You find this often in tech help, people will hide info or lie about something out of fear, and you've got to get the information in a roundabout way. How do we know what a person's motives really are?

    Then there's the guy that chooses to go out to a friend's house for the weekend instead of study for an upcoming midterm he might fail... but what if he's going there to spend a private weekend with his girlfriend, and he's actually planning on failing his classes as part of some plan to get moved into other classes? Tossing aside schoolwork to get laid may seem like a bad example of prioritizing to some, and a good example to others. If you don't know the reason, does that mean the reason doesn't exist?

    I kinda' lost steam on that one, but I think this is good enough to get a discussion rolling.

    In specific I'd like people to state examples of when they or others have been in these types of situations.
     


  2. Sephxus

    Sephxus GBAtemp Fan

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    a. displaying ignorance

    Let us begin with the definition of ignorance.

    When you define ignorance as "simply when one person is unaware of something somebody else knows" you are reducing the meaning and the context in which the word is used because even though you are in some ways correct, there is much more to the definition.

    Now, where you ignorant?

    The lack of knowledge...

    Suppose you and your best friend are having an argument. You are arguing the direction in which the smoke of an electric train will travel. You friend to the north because the train is going south. You say it will go to the east because the wind is coming from the west, and you demonstrated this by going outside and throwing sand in the air. Your friend now recognizes that you're right and agrees with you.

    Now, you're friend didn't know the wind was coming from the west. Do you have the right to call him an ignorant? According to your definition, then you do have the right.

    You probably already know that electric trains do not emit smoke, so you were both wrong. Adhering to the dictionary definition, you were both ignorants because you didn't know electric trains don't emit smoke. You lacked essential information.


    Let's define ignorance for a moment as you did with a little modification. Instead of "somebody" we'll say "everyone."

    Wonder about this: What if everyone believes you and agrees with you?

    Imagine that you live in a different reality. If you live in a society that believes that the Earth is flat, you are most likely to believe it is flat. You will see it as common knowledge. One day you encounter an alien disguised as a human and challenges your common knowledge, and argues that the Earth is actually round. You reject his arguments until he forces you into his ship and makes you see the Earth for yourself.

    Now you believe him. He sends you back to Earth and leaves you with this amazing knowledge. You quickly tell your friends about this. They don't believe you. They then start laughing and someone actually calls you an idiot. They go on to tell others about your stupidity. You have no way to prove that the Earth is round because you don't have a spaceship and you simply can't prove the Earth is round in this reality. After being ridiculed, you start to doubt yourself. "Did that really happened? A round Earth, how stupid is that? If the Earth was round, we would have fallen of it!" Then you go on with your life as nothing had happened.

    In this reality, did you make the right choice? You had no way to prove you were right. You had the choice of being ridiculed the rest of your life, or just live a happy normal life.
    In a scientific sense, you didn't because ultimately you and everyone else are wrong. However, because of your decision to ignore what had happened, you're now a functioning member of society.

    You can call a person ignorant if they do not know or adhere to the social norms established by the community because you need these rules in order for a society to function properly.

    So in that sense you're right.
     
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  3. Rydian
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    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    I defined ignorance in the way I did because most people think the root is "ignore" and that it means somebody doesn't know because they didn't want to know, or are just refusing to admit something.

    It was easier to state that I'm using the robotic definition of it than spend a few extra sentences explaining what I meant without using that word, risking forgetting a bit more of the train of thought that spawned this thread with each passing moment.

    I freaking hate that. [​IMG]
     
  4. Defiance

    Defiance oh my god.. it's full of trading cards...

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    It is not a misfortune to be ignorant, but to stay ignorant. [​IMG]
     
  5. monkat

    monkat I'd like to see you TRY to ban me. (Should I try?.

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    In order to define what constitutes an idiot, and therein idiocy, I break the linguist's rule of one-word definitions.

    N4RU70FR4AK
     
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  6. Rydian
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    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Somebody who refuses to learn, that's the third one I originally meant to put, thank you!

    That brings up some points of the second, though. Why are they? Here laziness could be a common answer.
     
  7. Sephxus

    Sephxus GBAtemp Fan

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    Also, remember that people fear change.
    Many don't want to exit their comfort zone. Which is why some religious people strongly disagree with science. (example)
     
  8. monkat

    monkat I'd like to see you TRY to ban me. (Should I try?.

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    The choice to remain ignorant in a vacuum is idiocy.

    Of course there are factors of time, energy, physical ability, etc. that negate it.
     
  9. ProtoKun7

    ProtoKun7 GBAtemp Time Lord Regenerations: 3

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    Such as the inability to breathe in a vacuum?
     
  10. pitman

    pitman Addicted to Magical Girls

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    A miserable pile of dumbness ?
     
  11. Metoroid0

    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I think it's most important to find happiness in the time we have on earth. Someone being ignorant or not..whell, humans are not perfect beings and we are all learning from each-other and help each other to grow and learn :)

    (Maybe i am being ignorant right now, but i think that, that also is a part of learning process)

    And because this is a Video-game web-site, i will let sonic say few words [​IMG]

    By the way, i like your threads Rydian! :lol:
     
  12. emigre

    emigre Has complex motives

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    People who necrobump two and half year old threads?
     
  13. Metoroid0

    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    it's not about time, because this topic is timeless
     
  14. BORTZ

    BORTZ "Another stunning Van Gogh"

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    The lock this thread will get says otherwise.
     
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  15. Metoroid0

    Metoroid0 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Why locking thread? :) ..rulez?
     
  16. Rogue_Syst3m

    Rogue_Syst3m GBAtemp Regular

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    were you high when you wrote that? :rofl2:
     
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  17. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps

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    I never considered myself truly ignorant, but then I realized. I don't the color boxers Rydian wears. I now know, I shall never achieve true peace in my life, because I will never know the color boxers of online strangers...
     
  18. Rydian
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    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    ITT: "What the fuck is a dictionary?"
     
  19. ThatDudeWithTheFood

    ThatDudeWithTheFood TRIANGLEZ

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    Stupid is as stupid does.
     
  20. Coto

    Coto GBAtemp Addict

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    hilarious but yes.

    Hopefully this thread enlighten some people looking to go further and follow what they really want. (in my case, i don't seek being a smart nerd and such and yell at anyone when he/she's wrong, but understand completely how a machine behaves so I can do different things here and there), even if I have to read a few hundred times from "very smart guys" YOU CAN NOT DO IT, HOW COULD HAVE YOU NOT FIGURE IT OUT'!? IT'S SO EASY! YOU STUPID AND MINDLESS PIECE OF ***.

    In the end the "newbie" can't take up the challenge because someone destroyed his/her "dreams" and not everyone can face shit like this very often. And also, this goes to everyone saying who is this guy: "I am and I will be what I look for now"