From the point of a frustrated and confused member of the social order, it appears to me that we are living in a society where stupidity easily fits into a simple, three tier, hierarchical model. Where Darwin argued that species adapt, I would argue that--at least where "civilized" culture is concerned--humanity's intellectual evolution is rapidly decreasing, therefore allowing us as a whole to adapt to a culture where the art of thinking is becoming obsolete. This author submits to you that, due to technology and volumes of procedure protocol having been written for every job imaginable, people have lost their ability to reason intellectually and have essentially "dumbed down." This, my friends, is the curious but sad truth of the matter. Therefore, I believe that stupidity can be reasonably fitted into the following three tier, hierarchical model.
First or Lower Level: Stupid People Who Know They Are Stupid.
Second Level: People Who Are Stupid But Don't Know They Are Stupid.
Third or highest level of stupidity: People Who Know They Are Stupid, and Are Afraid Others Will Find Out.
Take the first level for example--stupid people who know they are stupid. These people are benign to the rest of us. When faced with something that is beyond their capabilities, they simply admit and own their stupidity by stating something like, "I don't know" or "I have no idea." These people are not the people whom you see on the 6 o'clock news; they are just not newsworthy. Folks in this category have nothing to do with melting down the local nuclear reactor, "removing" some poor guy's uterus in a surgery gone awry, or with disciplining their kid by holding him by one leg off a 3 story balcony. Quite simply: they know their limitations.
However, folks fitting into the second tier category--people who are stupid but don't know they are stupid--pose grave problems for the rest of us. These are folks who, at the very least, are a serious frustration, or in some cases,...