Monday, May 01, 2006

Stupid versus different

"If 40 million people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing."
- Anatole France, French writer (1844-1924)

There's inflation for you. Instead of 40 million, that number could now be hundreds of millions or even billions.

The important thing is not that the stupid thing is said, but that it is believed by those who hear it. Tabloid newspapers, for example, make fortunes by inventing lies about celebrities then peddling them as truth, being careful to avoid using language that might get them sued.

The criterion for believing anything we hear or read should be that it has to make sense. If it doesn't really make sense that you should be able to invest $100 and become a millionnaire from it, then it's not worth putting out the money.

A new friend who tells you he or she loves you just before having sex with you for the first time for the first time, not a lasting relationship. Sex and long term relatinships don't necessarily have much to do with each other, so listening to words and drawing unwarranted conclusions from them is foolish.

If a religious story has several discrepancies or could not have happened in real life--your own life--then you must question the validity of the story. Maybe it's a myth or parable, as religions use these devices often to convey truths about life.

On the other hand, just because someone or even millions of people disagree with your point of view on a political matter does not mean that they are wrong and you are right. Different is not stupid in politics. There is no right or wrong in politics, only better or worse. And they are often hard to tell apart.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help you tell the difference between stupid and really valuable.
Learn more at

No comments: