What have stupid people done lately?

I decided to comb through my neighborhood listserv for the past week (Monday through Thursday) to look for examples of how my neighbors have been affected by stupid people. Keep in mind that were talking about an expensive neighborhood – I’m guessing that no one posting has a house that’s worth less than $500,000. Here is what I found:

1) One person’s kitchen constantly smells like urine because people keep peeing in the alley directly behind his house.
2) Several bikes were stolen.
3) Two people are being driven insane by their neighbor’s dogs barking constantly for 10 hours at a time. The neighbor is apparently breeding pit bulls in his house (the typical yard in my neighborhood is not much bigger than 100 square feet).

4) While standing at a bus stop, one women was yelled at to, “fucking go away” and “move on, bitch” by a friendly neighbor. (Incidentally someone on the listserv told her that this might have been due to “cultural differences.” No doubt the person who said this believes that all cultures are equally good).

5) One neighbor watched as some guy broke into a house across the street.

That covers all I could find this week.

James Taranto has a long-running feature in which he quotes a story which describes something terrible that happens in a government-run healthcare system. He then quotes a Paul Krugman editorial in which Krugman says that horror stories about bad things happening under government-run healthcare systems are false.

I’m tempted to start a long run series of these things and then link to Aretae and Caplan saying that such things don’t happen. Unfortunately, it would probably be a full time job.

16 Responses to What have stupid people done lately?

  1. tenkev says:

    Those are all things unconscientious people have done lately. Stupid people may be so more often; but, they are not so all the time and neither are intelligent people always morally correct.

  2. Sardonic_sob says:

    Is this listserv private? I’d like to see it, maybe get inspired to make one for our neighborhood.

  3. Handle says:

    Maybe you could start a comprehensive list and call it “Stuff Stupid People Like”.

    Actually, you’ve got a whole 2×2 matrix of possibilities here.

    1. Stuff Stupid People Like
    2. Stuff Stupid People Don’t Like
    3. Stuff Smart People Like
    4. Stuff Smart People Don’t Like

    If I’m not mistaken, 2 and 3 are taken, and 1 and 4 are equivalent. This is because 1 and 4 are recursive sets, that is, 1 and 4 contain “Stupid People”, whereas 2 certainly contains “Smart People”, but 3 is mixed in this regard.

    The insight of the equivalence of 1 and 4, from the perspective of a 4, would be the basis for your website. It’s kind of like “People of Walmart”, except it’s “People of my neighborhood where Smart and Stupid people live in close proximity”.

    • Foseti says:

      I think you’re right about 1 and 4 being equivalent. Gentrification in DC works because smart people move into a blighted area and open shops and restaurants that stupid people don’t even want to steal from.

    • Sardonic_sob says:

      There are lots of things that everybody likes, so I don’t know they’re ENTIRELY redundant. 🙂

  4. Brian says:

    Those you listed are the direct effects of stupidity, but you’re forgetting the much greater and more wide-ranging indirect effects.

  5. […] Foseti – “What Have Dumb People Done to Me?“, “More on Stupid People“, “Left Libertarianism“, “What Have Stupid People Done Lately?” […]

  6. Gian says:

    If crime or bad behaviour has greatly increased in past hundred years, then surely it can not be blamed on stupid people since they have been with us always.

    If you equate stupidity with IQ then are you sure perpetrators are low IQ?

    Those Yale students that shouted No is Yes outside girls’ dorm– were they stupid, low IQ or what?

    • Foseti says:

      College students may occasionally exhibit some stupidity, but they don’t make for bad neighbors in precisely the same way that people with low IQs do.

  7. Gian says:

    Are all Africans or Indians bad neighbors?
    Or they become so only in America?

  8. Gian says:

    I actually meant Asian Indians with mean IQ of only 82.

    Now UK apparently has a white underclass problem and the mean IQ of UK UK whites is 100.

    India with its mean IQ of 82 lacks some of these problems i.e. illegitimacy, public drunkenness,
    violent neighborhoods, public dependency. Though India has problems with violent crime.

    Also it is said that the white underclass behavior in UK has become much worse over the course of 20th C.

    So, in view of these observations, how much your thesis that IQ is the biggest determinant of underclass or stupid behavior is tenable?
    What do you think about alternate theories that have been proposed for the spread of underclass behavior in 20th C?

    • Foseti says:

      I yield to no one in my disdain for modern culture. It’s effects have been terrible. The welfare state was designed to create an underclass that would vote to perpetuate the welfare state – I call this the FDR strategy.

      However, I don’t believe in the modern idea that all effects must have one true cause. The welfare state has undoubtedly created an underclass – that was it’s goal. But that underclass is disproportionately black. I don’t see why I must pick one explanation or the other.

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