Collective Stupidity — How Can We Avoid It?

It is remarkable how many different ways one can approach the content of this video:

  • Theory of democracy or of governance
  • Social psychology
  • Subjective economics
  • Intelligent Design (or, possibly, the material origins of good and evil)
  • Sabine’s funny jokes

10 thoughts on “Collective Stupidity — How Can We Avoid It?

  1. Behavioral economics comes to mind. I don’t know if this is what you mean by subjective economics or not?

    Economic theories have depended on rational decision making in the market. As far as I know, behavioral economics challenges that.

    If we did not act according to behavioral economics, I think our economic system dependent upon free market capitalism would collapse. After all, making a purchase based on pure rational thought would discourage anything but the most cost efficient, practical, and useful products. That is, no more overpriced toys in cars, designer clothes, $200 dinners, Cheetos, Bloomin’ Onions…irrational choices marketed heavily by crowd “intelligence” of desirability v. usefulness.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very entertaining and it explains a lot. But it also leaves a lot unexplained.

    Such as how groups of acknowledged experts can be so totally wrong and persist in that wrongness no matter how many times they are shown to have been wrong.


    1. Perhaps the groupthink you describe is not an emergent phenomenon. In Orwellian terms, a control process (or Big Brother) may be required to sustain erroneous beliefs.

      Optimistically, however, a truly emergent collective intelligence eventually should come along to collapse the fragile order of groupthink.


    2. “… how groups of acknowledged experts can be so totally wrong…”.

      Perhaps they are not totally wrong. On the assumption you are referring to climate science, am I wrong to assess that branch of science to be based more on historical data, current conditions, and future modeling than repeatable experiments. After all, we can’t reduce greenhouse gases in half the world, do nothing in the other half and compare the results.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t delve into climate debates much.

          Yes, Ehrlich’s predictions were off.

          But that was only 60 years ago, and in the realm of natural catastrophes, that ain’t nothin’.

          If his predictions ever do come through, it might be another 100 years or so. We tend to think of our lifetimes as long. But human kind has only been impactful upon the world in the last few centuries.
          Many species have been around for 10’s of millions of years. Humans maybe a million depending on definitions.

          Our 7 billion has an impact on the environment unlike any other species. Mass migrations, local climate shifts, depleted fisheries, migrating tropical diseases, war with nukes, plastic bits in everything we eat, water distribution, etc.

          All of these issues are here and now. The earth doesn’t care one way or the other. If we make a mess, who cares except us. Yet, we have nowhere else to go.

          So just because Ehrlich was premature, it doesn’t mean he was wrong in the longer term.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I understand that humans affect the environment, often to our own detriment. It’s a fight I’ve been in for some 60 years.

            That’s one of the reasons the Climate farce infuriates me. The obsession with CO2 has pushed the real problems aside and in some cases, accelerated the destruction of the environment.

            We live right next to one of the worst examples.

            In Britain, they have decided that as part of their carbon trading schemes, deriving some of their energy from burning wood saves the planet. In effect, they get permission to burn coal by burning wood too.

            But they burned their wood long ago so diverse and environmentally irreplaceable Southern Bottomland forests across the Southern US are being clearcut and ground into wood pellets to ship to England.

            We don’t just lose the forests, the watershed associated with them are ruined too, The Northwest River is rapidly deteriorating due to the clearcutting of adjacent forests.

            And it all has the full support of the Seirra Club because CO2. is all that matters.


      1. RE: “Since then, [Paul Ehrlich] has predicted mass starvation, resource depletion and of course, climate catastrophe, and every other form of doom.”

        Interesting you should mention Ehrlich. His ideas may be wrong, even repeatedly disproved, but they are kept alive by the elite or investment class. George Gammon explains.


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