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Attempting to define stupidity


But how does the proposed approach escape confirmation bias?

But what exactly is stupidity? David Krakauer, the President of the Santa Fe Institute, told interviewer Steve Paulson, for Nautilus, stupidity is not simply the opposite of intelligence. “Stupidity is using a rule where adding more data doesn’t improve your chances of getting [a problem] right,” Krakauer said. “In fact, it makes it more likely you’ll get it wrong.” Intelligence, on the other hand, is using a rule that allows you to solve complex problems with simple, elegant solutions. “Stupidity is a very interesting class of phenomena in human history, and it has to do with rule systems that have made it harder for us to arrive at the truth,” he said. Brian Gallagher, “The Case for Professors of Stupidity” at Nautilus

Krakauer notes that many people study intelligence but no one studies stupidity. That may have to do with the social awkwardness of explaining the research project to the subjects… 😉

Note: A reader writes to point out that there is indeed research on stupidity:

The basic laws of human stupidity by  Carlo M. Cipolla  We stand corrected.

See also: Real Intelligence Can Never Be Matched By The Artificial

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I can't define stupidity but I see it every morning in the mirror. :) Ed George

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