Tag Archives: stupid

You Still Think I Do Not Have Empathy

I am an Aspie. I have a near-photographic memory, a razor-sharp mind, and the ability to focus on a problem for an unbelievably long period of time. If you know me, you know that I tell you exactly what I think—on your face. You feel bad. But, I don’t see why you should. I think you shouldn’t. In nine out of ten cases, if you had gone along with me, you would have done a lot better. A lot, lot better. Now, I am being modest. Deep down, you know this. You have even told me this, not always in so many words. But, you still betray yourself—and me—for the momentary pleasure of being petty.

You made a torture rack for me, and yourself, with your poor self-esteem. But, you still think I do not have empathy.

Now, you are probably thinking that this is about you. I know that this is exactly how you think. Common people—They always think that it is about them. Now, you are mad that I called you a “common person”. If you are so convinced, this is probably the truth you do not want to admit about yourself. But, this doesn’t occur to you.

That’s how common people are.

Tell them that Facebook is good for kids, and they will say, “Don’t ever tell me how to raise my child.” Tell them intelligence is genetic, and they will think you just called them stupid. Tell them that there is no trade-off between inflation and growth, and they will think that you don’t like them. If you write that half the people in Mumbai live in one-room houses, they will remove you from their friend lists. Tell them that their parents are “bad”, and they will faint. But, they will still admit, “I know that you are right, but this makes me so weary….so weary…”

But, I believe in Eugene Gendlin’s words, “What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away. And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.” This doesn’t mean that I am honest. All this means is that I tend to do this. If people were not so weak and pathetic, I would have been happy to do this all the time. Now, that doesn’t seem to be a tempting prospect to you, does it?

Reading me so far, what you have noticed is the arrogance, the self-righteousness, the condescension, the many “I’s”. You would not have noticed that all this is so true. But, that is exactly how you think. I know it.

Totally Conventional Views Which I Hold

 

 

  1. If our hearts were pure, we wouldn’t need our heads to tell right from wrong.
  2. Certain things are right, and certain things are wrong. Even if no one would ever prove why.
  3. If people become nice, the world would be nice.
  4. If people calmly listen to others, most human conflicts wouldn’t arise in the first place.
  5. To paraphrase Bryan Caplan,“Raising kids is the most meaningful thing most people will ever do with their lives.”
  6. You perhaps shouldn’t follow your “dream”.
  7. Creative men often do stupid things. 
  8. Politicians are crooks.
  9. Humility is very valuable. (It is a very valuable form of humility to understand that there is much one can learn from far more intelligent, learned fellows.)
  10. Most mothers prefer normal children, not exceptionally intelligent or stupid ones.

Bryan Caplan’s list here, and Tyler Cowen’s list here.

                                                       

Bleeding Heart Libertarianism

I was apolitical before I became a libertarian. But, most libertarians were anti-capitalists. So, I have a theory about bleeding heart libertarians. When you accept the truth, you are compelled to admit error. It is not merely that you have to admit error, the truth will also make you socially unacceptable. But, when the bleeding heart libertarians noticed that the evidence was too much to evade, they agreed with those unpleasant facts without changing themselves too much. The people who are naturally inclined to believe in socially unacceptable positions are often very eccentric, stubborn and do not respect social norms or niceties much. It would be very surprising if the wussy libertarians find them very “likeable”. So, it is not merely that they do not sympathize much with the non-bleeding heart libertarians, they do not identify much with them either. They are likely to feel, “In hindsight, what I once believed looks stupid, but then I know it only in hindsight.” They will be somewhat uncomfortable with the view that anti-capitalists are stupid, evil or both. They would not want to antagonize the anti-capitalists or the moderate libertarians who are more valuable allies than the non-bleeding heart libertarians. So, even if they agree with the non-bleeding heart libertarians in theory, they might still identify with the anti-capitalists and the moderates. If they are too complimentary to the moderates and the anti-capitalists, their readers might assume that it is a mark of their intellectual honesty that they still admit that their opponents are brilliant, wonderful human beings. It is not surprising that their civility and charitableness does not extend to outsiders. My heart bleeds for people that are nice and not mean, and not poor people or blacks or women or such groups aligned with moronic fashionable causes.

If you really are stupid, I would call that a disease.

Nobel laureate Dr. James D. Watson, Chancellor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.I believe you are the kindest to people when you tell them exactly what you think, in the clearest possible terms, in the most uncompromising manner, without hostility, without manipulative intent. It is sheer evasion and malice that stops people from seeing this. Normal human beings find this very hard to understand, because they are cheap. But, the details of their narrow-mindedness doesn’t interest me at all.

Little people evade the truth because truth is not a great ally in persecuting brilliant, honest men. This is what happened to James Watson. Watson now wants to sell his Nobel Prize to make quick cash. Read what he has to tell you:

“I’ve had strong opinions probably since I was born. It makes you unpopular, but what can you do?”

“If someone’s liver doesn’t work, we blame it on the genes; if someone’s brain doesn’t work properly, we blame the school. It’s actually more humane to think of the condition as genetic. For instance, you don’t want to say that someone is born unpleasant, but sometimes that might be true.”

“People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great….”

“I think it’s irresponsible not to try and direct evolution to produce a human being who will be an asset to the world.” 

“When you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you’re not going to hire them.”

“All our social policies are based on the fact that Africans’ intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really. People who have to deal with black employees find equality is not true.”

“If you really are stupid, I would call that a disease. The lower 10 percent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what’s the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, ‘Well, poverty, things like that.’ It probably isn’t. So I’d like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 percent.”

“If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we? What’s wrong with it? Evolution can be just damn cruel, and to say that we’ve got a perfect genome and there’s some sanctity?”

“Ultimately, we’ll help the people we discriminate against if we try to understand more about them; genetics will lead to a world where there is a sympathy for the underdog.”

“One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.”

“To succeed in science, you have to avoid dumb people… Even as a child, I never liked to play tag with anyone who was bad as I was. If you win, it gives you no pleasure. And in the game of science-or life-the highest goal isn’t simply to win, it’s to win at something really difficult. Put another way, it’s to go somewhere beyond your ability and come out on top.”

“If you accept that people are the products of evolution, then you have to have an open mind to the truth. Unfair discrimination exists whether we like it or not; I wouldn’t have married a gum-chewing vegetarian.”

“It is necessary to be slightly under employed if you are to do something significant.”

“No one may have the guts to say this, but if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we?”

“Never be the brightest person in the room.”

“I just can’t sit while people are saying nonsense in a meeting without saying it’s nonsense.”

“Constantly exposing your ideas to informed criticism is very important, and I would venture to say that one reason both of our chief competitors failed to reach the Double Helix before us was that each was effectively very isolated.”

The Sen-Bhagwati Debate: In Retrospect

It is strange that the Sen-Bhagwati debate received wide media coverage in a country where virtually no one reads academic literature. What could have happened? Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati were probably born as leftists. Sen was more dishonest, and did not want to change much even in the face of great evidence to the contrary. Sen had a strategy because being liked and accepted were probably more important to him. After an age, Bhagwati admitted error, changed his positions, and had to accept that this meant less respectability, power and positions. When I became a libertarian more than a decade ago, the lay public had not heard of Bhagwati. He was probably burning in humiliation, waiting to expose Sen. He assembled all evidence he could accumulate to humiliate Sen. Now, after Bhagwati and Panagariya have picked many holes in the arguments of Sen, and after the Indian intellectual establishment has become far more capitalistic, the media is actively debating this.   

Sen still attracts far more attention because everything he did was subconsciously motivated by the desire to be liked and respected.To be successful in the academia, you have to be not just intelligent and industrious, you also have to love the welfare state and such inanities. Whatever their flaws, this is true of Sen and most other high profile academics. But, curiosity is very rare because it is a rare gift, to be born with great respect for the truth and reality. Continue reading