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Claudio Monteverdi

Alexander Johannesen

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Tue, 12 October 2004 13:00:00 GMT

Notice! This blog is no longer updated as such, and the new spot to point your feedreaders and blurry eyes are https://shelter.nu/blog/

This also means no more comments here, and especially not you spammers, you filthy floatsam of the internet!

What are you? What am I?

Lately, I've had to do some work up in the ceiling of my mind, fixing a leak. It lead to a question; to patch or to open up?

Some people who read this blog may have noticed my rants about politics, society and philosophy of late. There is a good reason; I've been challenged on these areas on several occasions, and I have been forced to think hard about issues that so often gets lost in the daily hooha of work, eat, sex, sleep, repeat.

I take all opinion from people I judge 'intelligent' (just my version of 'not stupid') with some seriousness; should I open up to these ideas, or patch up the hole to stop stuff like this leaking in? I had this thought presented to me;

If we sterilised all stupid people, the human race would progress.

There are obvious flaws to this thinking; what denotes stupidity? What are stupid people doing? What is progress? Even, what is the human race? Some very simple questions that are not easy to answer, even though we deal with these issues every single day.

It is stupid to walk across the road on a red light, because a) it's against the law, and b) you can get hit by a car. (And do notice the order I chose here) Hmm, hang on; what is the law? It is generally speaking a set of rules that our society has agreed to. So then, what is society? In general, it is a cluster of humans and interactions that weave a net of dependencies and, mostly, agreement on such. And suffice to say, there are litterally millions of societies around the world, and even if they share some of the same properties, they are all different. All of these different societies are loosely called 'the human race', and we speak of its advancement when these societies have certain qualities, such as food for all and rights to do this, that and the other. And when one of these societies don't follow the conventions, such as free speech, it is said that this society is working against the better of the human race.

Ok, conventions ... what are they? Invisible rules that we can clearly see but not define. Just like ethics and morals, but with more practical implications. Here is such a convention; if you break the law, you will be punished. This perticular convention is often the very thing that shape us humans into either the good or bad category; the ones that will advance the human race and the ones that will not.

So, back to the thought; should we try to get rid of this bad category? Think about it; it is they who rob banks, steal from our homes, do drugs, beat up our kids, piss in our water supplies and otherwise do all sorts of terrible things to our society so that we need more police to get rid of them, and so forth. Do we want this crap? No, of course not, so let's get rid of the problem.

My brother used to do drugs, but he's alright now. I almost ended up in prison for not doing compulsary military service in Norway, but got away doing community work instead. My wife has done something that's bad according to the bible and the law in vertain countries, yet she's the nicest and most loving person I know. My granddad refused arrest during the second world war, and got away, becoming an underground guerilla fighter against the Norwegian government, yet we think he did the right thing and praise his actions today. I once stole fruit from a fruit-truck, got cought and threatened, but the fruit was half rotten and was going to be dumped anyways. I know one guy who's shot a man by accident (flesh wound, nothing serious). Someone very close to me once cheated on his taxes due to difficult financial situation, and yet got away with it.

Are we bad? Are we up for sterilisation? Are we even stupid? What if you're stupid in one thing and brilliant in another? What if you used to do drugs but now are clean? What if you cross the road on a red light when there is an emergancy, and you need to reach a hospital as soon as possible? What if? What if? What if smart is 'kick the ball that way', and your name is Stephen Hawkins?

We invented the court system for some of these reasons, for all those gray areas. But the point remains; are we stupid? What is stupid? Stupid is, generally speaking, something done or said that sounds stupid to that person, something that they wouldn't do, at least not recently. Obviously that person is a lot smarter than you. The idea to sterilise stupid people came from someone very smart and very convinced. He knows they can't and never will be enforced, but he believes this is the best solutions, regardless. His mindset is out there though, every day, thinking that you should die if you do stupid things. According to him. According to some notion in his brain that decides what is "right" and "wrong". What the fuck!? What is right and wrong, even inside the law? We all know the law fails from time to time, sometimes in quite dramatic ways, so how can we even begin to jot down "right" or "wrong" outside the most proven "right" or "wrong" system know to 'the human race'!? We all know that at the end of the stick sits someone with an opinion, someone who decides, based on various sources on what is right and wrong, on exactly what is right and wrong; a judge, a god, a person who thinks sterilisation is a good option for stupid people. Who the hell do you think you are?

No, my friend, stupidity is not what you should jugde on. Try something deliberate instead. There is no such thing as stupidity. Thinking otherwise is, well, stupid.

Permalink (Tue, 12 October 2004 13:00:00 GMT)| Comments (0) | Opinions