Is there such a thing as a "stupid mistake?"

This probably does not belong here, but I wanted to keep it close by the “question” issue.

I am of the opinion we humans are generally doing the best we can with the brains we are given, and mistakes are inevitable. Can these errors be termed “stupid” only because we have the benefit of hindsight?

There is sucha thing as a stupid mistake. If we do not learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. If you keep making the same mistake over and over…you get the point. If as a child you jam your finger in an electrical socket and get zapped you have just made a mistake. A stupid one I think not. If however you take same said finger and jam it in there again I would venture to say congratulations you’ve just made a stupid misake.

Case in point - I wonder if you’ve ever misspelled “misake” in such wise before, or left the space between words out? Stupid? Not hardly. Is repetition really the key to stupidity? (After all, many people get married more than once… )

I don’t believe you Nick! Now you say that mistakes are inevitable, and ask if “…these errors be termed “stupid” only because we have the benefit of hindsight?”
Are you the same person from “The stupid question” thread?
If you are, congratulations!

You say here:

Well, if you willingly repeat something after realizing it was a mistake, and you know it could still be a mistake, then YOU are stupid! (some people re-marry HOPING not to make the “same” mistake)
I think there are not “stupid mistakes”, maybe only stupid people making mistakes.
What do you think?

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

I think you need to back off, my friend. What are you getting so angry about?

I think repetition is the key to stupidity, but not repetition alone. I think what makes a mistake stupid is willful repetition in the face of consequences. The example someone used of a child jamming his finger into a socket would fit into this.

Typos would not because a) they aren’t willful, and b) in this situation, there really aren’t any real consequences. This would be a careless, rather than stupid, mistake.
There are times, however, when the carelessness can be a stupid mistake. This would occur when the carelessness results in consequences, and is repeated.

An example of carelessness resulting in a stupid mistake could be as follows: When planning a trip, I forget to arrange to have anyone feed my fish while I am away. Upon returning home, I find all of the little fellows dead. I’ve made a careless mistake. Obviously, I should learn to be mindful of this when planning trips in the future. I go out and buy more fish, promising myself that I won’t kill them. Everything goes fine until a couple of months later, when I go on another trip. Sure enough, when I return home, these fish are dead, too. I forget to arrange for them to be fed–a stupid mistake, since I knew that this was something I should be careful of. Of course, anyone who would do this is too stupid to have fish anyway.

(Sorry this was so long, but I wanted to make sure my points were clear.)

“It is more from carelessness about the truth than from intentional lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.”
-Samuel Johnson

What has repetition got to do with it?

I am driving, and come to a stop sign. I don’t stop, and have an accident. Stupid mistake? I didn’t have to do it once before I knew I shouldn’t do it again. I didn’t even have to see two cars crash to know I didn’t want to do it. I knew I was coming to a stop sign. I was too lazy to hit the brake. What isn’t stupid about this?

What about Bob, the current star of the IBM ad, attending a 12 step program for stupid people (for non-US readers: Bob was going to be rich. His company spent all their money on a TV ad for their web site, but Bob forgot to warn the web guys, so they could be ready for the traffic. Their web site crashed, and they got no revenue, and had no more money, and were finished. The ad starts with a woman in the group assuring Bob that there were no stupid people in the group, and ended with her saying, “Wow, that really was stupid, Bob.”) Did Bob make a stupid mistake, or was he just stupid? Or, was the woman who called him stupid, and Bob is in fact smart because he didn’t repeat his mistake (of course, they were out of money, so he couldn’t repeat it if he wanted to). If Bob is just stupid, is every mistake he makes stupid?

Makes me wonder how far can we take this stupid thread…

– Mike –

I agree, Mike. I managed to not only ask a stupid question, but made several stupid mistakes in posting this. I DO NOT need any explanations as to what they were. :slight_smile:

As the unmarried foolish daughter of Mrs. Take might say ,the answer is ‘Yes’