Re: virus: Re: AIDS Meme

Martin Traynor (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 16:58:18 +0000


On Wed, 6 Nov 1996, I wrote:
> > Stupid:
> > 1. Unintelligent, slow-witted, foolish.

On 10 Nov 96 at 17:08, wrote:
> I find the definition (above) woefully inadequate

Nonetheless, that is the definition from the Concise Oxford.

> 1) I would emphazise "slow-witted", as in "finds concepts useful for
> daily life utterly incomprehensible."

I find the 'useful for daily life' clause to be falsely limiting and
'utterly incomprehensible' an overstatement. I would prefer 'takes
a relatively long time to comprehend concepts'.

> For instance, that houses built in
> flood plains are at risk of being flooded out every once in a while. The
> Flood of 1993 [U.S.] caused extensive damage, and even prompted an offer
> by the government to provide extensive financial assistance in relocating
> flood victims ["Yes. We'll buy your house, and provide a really
> low-interest mortage for a new home in a better geographical zone."]
> So, what am I to conclude when hordes of people rebuild their homes, and
> then they get flooded out AGAIN in 1995?
> It's not living there in the first place that I'm looking at.
> [Circumstances are often limiting.] It's REBUILDING there, when they
> can actually move out without significant monetary or time cost compared
> to staying.

A perfect example of stupid people. Your point was?

> 2) Intelligent fools are quite common, at least where I live.

I think this is a problem with our techniques of measuring
intelligence. Not just the formal tests etc. but the ad-hoc
judgements which we make all the time. A person can be intelligent in
one area but stupid in another. When we use either word the context
must be implicit or our statement is meaningless. Provided we accept
that it is contextual and relative then it usefully conveys meaning.

> recall that "slow processing" is a CIS-motivated way of saying "slow-witted".

Yet when I first used the term 'stupid' you objected to it and
offerred 'slow processing' as an alternative. Why, if they both mean
the same thing?

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