Ignorant stupid vs, negligent stupid

With daily news stories about them there is no doubt we have absolutely no shortage of stupid people in the world. And while my recreational outrage (RO) reaction level is seriously lacking these days I’m still puzzled as to why or how these people can be so stupid.
Take this story for example: Baby left in hot car
It’s 2007, the lady is 25 years old. Now is her excuse that she’s just plain ignorant and really didn’t know that you can’t leave a 13 month-old in a car for 30 minutes on a 90 degree day with the windows rolled up? Or is her excuse that she knew it was wrong but didn’t really care and figured her running in to shop for 30 minutes without having to haul the baby in with her was worth the risk?

Same goes for those “to catch a predator” knuckleheads. Are they just ignorant stupid (I’m a 40 year-old loser but some 14 year-old virgin hottie really wants to have sex with me) or negligent stupid (yeah, I know it’s totally a crime but even if there’s a 5% chance I could get lucky and this isn’t a sting I’m so damn horny I don’t care what the consequences are).

So what do we have an abundance of: Ignorant stupid morons who just don’t know any better, or negligent idiots who don’t really care anymore about who they hurt and the consequences to themselves?

My guess for most cases is: neither ignorant nor uncaring but

  • aware (in the abstract) and
  • caring (in the abstract) but
  • not thinking.

Most are like what tschild described. Others are sociopaths who skip the second point.

Case in point.

The mother at target was obviously aware she’d left her kid in the car, whereas I don’t think the dad in the above story actually meant to do what he did. What’s sad is one was intentional, one was a lapse in judgment.

I believe that people get so caught up in what they have yet to do, what they are planning on doing, what they may do at some later point but haven’t really decided yet, that they forget about what they’re doing right now. Forgetting to drop your kid at daycare on the way to work is an extreme example, but it seems people reach overload as to how many things they can think about at the same time, and lapses in judgment happen.

In my opinion, looking at the human species from a larger evolutionary perspective, I think we got just smart enough — on average — to be successful, and then stopped. Just because one in ten of us is clever enough to come up with something like alternating current doesn’t mean the other nine won’t stick a fork in an electrical outlet just to see what happens.

That’s not stupid. That’s the Empirical Method, done stupidly. To do it more intelligently you talk somebody else into sticking the fork into the socket.

By what grounds would we classify a shortage of stupid people? If there’s no shortage then it means we have an adequate number of stupid people, but adequate for what? And furthermore, what’s the criterion for classifying a person as stupid? Does one stupid act make a person stupid for life? If a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist left their baby in a hot car, would they be stupid? I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s seen remarkably intelligent people do things such as not putting their car in park and thus having it roll through a neighbor’s yard, or accidentally setting the kitchen curtains on fire. Paul Erdos, the brilliant Hungarian mathematician, was unable to shop for himself or prepare a meal. Was he stupid?

And, out of curiosity, do you believe that you’ve ever done anything stupid?

Now you’re just being stupid.

What was his username?

I read many years ago that Einstein was so absentminded that he appeared to be stupid at times.

And certainly we are all ignorant. Willful ignorance is no shame if no harm is being caused.

Stupid and ignorant are not the same thing.