Talking with idiots

September 30, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

How do you reason with “complete idiots”?   In this issue of SFGate, Mark Morford tells you how.

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Category: Culture, Education, ignorance, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    He suggests 3 avenues:

    Use intellect, feed them facts. Futile because "la, la, la we can't hear you , la, la, la"

    Dumb yourself down to their level. Futile because then there is no way to access the smart side.

    Ignore them. He cites this as the only way to go.

    But ignoring them doesn't work. The idiots simply declare victory, and with no opposing view expressed, they take over. The scientific community tried ignoring Creationists in the 1980's and 1990's, and by now half of America has only heard their side. People who have no idea what science is are selecting science texts for American Schools, and special anti-science museums have erupted like mushrooms on the landscape.

    He does link to this video: Frank Schaeffer on Rachel Maddow about idiot attacks on Obama and how mainstream media mostly ignores them. Best quote from the video: "You cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot."

    But ignoring the idiots just encourages them.

  2. A more difficult but possibly more effective route is: don't talk to the idiots, but talk to those who give them money/support. Not all of them are idiots, only misinformed and, occasionally, frightened. Challenge stupidity for the sake of the still-marginally reasonable.

    This can take a long time, but the idiotosphere, as he calls it, is rich because we stopped teaching reason to children and gave up on a commitment to rationalism for the sake of "inclusion."

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Maybe it's partly for inclusion, but it's also very profitable for certain businesses to have a consumer arm that will believe anything you tell them.

  4. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    I noticed a book display this morning with Glen Beck's new book "Arguing with Idiots" on display. The on paper jacket, Beck appears to be attired in a Russian army dress uniform.

    Hmmm… I wonder if that's part of his message?

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