Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why our egocentrism is the source of our stupidity

In 2021, I’ve written a lot about human stupidity (my blogs). I’ve been hesitant to address the How-What-When-Where-Who-Why questions. A 2021 Psyche article was very helpful: Why some of the smartest people can be so very stupid (eg, my blog). Apparently, stupidity is a blind spot in our thinking.

Recently, I noticed two more related articles that have been causing a stir in my thinking:
(1) Psyche, November 2021: Sikh ethics sees self-centredness as the source of human evil; and
(2) a 2015 Nautilus article from a 2021 newsletter: Why We Can’t Get Over Ourselves.

Combined, the Nautilus and Psyche articles may well explain the source of human stupidity. Let’s start with a quote (from the second article) that opened my eyes and mind for this blog.

“One of the biggest barriers to understanding others is excessive egocentrism. You can’t see into the mind of others because you can’t get over yourself. You can’t overcome your own experiences, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, knowledge, and visual perspective to recognize that others may view the world differently.”

Nautilus, 2015: Why We Can’t Get Over Ourselves

Initially, the November Psyche article on Sikh ethics seemed unappealing, until I swapped the words ‘human evil‘ for ‘human stupidity‘. The reason for that (mind) swap is simple: I don’t view humans as evil. I do view them as stupid. I suppose that would include myself.

The 2015 Nautilus quote above gives an explanation for why “self-centeredness is the source of human stupidity” (a rephrased Psyche title). Our “excessive egocentrism” would explain our “self-centredness” and the blind spot in our human thinking. Hence, our stupidity would be caused by our “excessive egocentrism“.

The logic in the above conclusion is simple rather than complicated (eg, Aeon, my blogs) and (thus) meets the criteria for Occam’s razor (my blogs).

Some interesting (new) quotes on human stupidity:
(1) Stupidity is infinitely more fascinating that intelligence. Intelligence has its limits while stupidity has none. Claude Chabrol
(2) A mark of stupidity is a belief that one party is totally virtuous and correct on the issues while the other is evil and always wrong. Steve Schmidt
(3) Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. Frank Zappa

Me Myself I (1980) by Joan Armatrading
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don’t want someone
To come pay a visit
I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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