Category: Rule of Thumb


Remember the days when we were told to stay unbiased, not to take sides coz that’s the right thing to do? It makes you appear smart and professional. Think of Newspapers/Newscasts vs. Gossip sites. But can it ever be really unbiased if human beings are involved?

Unbiased News = Accumulation of Opinions

Imagine you’re the reporter who gets a piece of information, verified by a source (or not, if sensationalism & Gossip rules at his/her work place) to write an article or do a news report. In your head you assimilate the information. Depending on what experiences you went through in your life, you’ve formed a conclusion what that information means to you. The more in control you are of your own emotions the more you can veil it in factual sounding words. Still, your bias seeps through because you’ll incline to whatever serves your purpose. On top of that, your source went through the same process. So from the original source where those things happened until it gets to you, it’s more like playing the Telephone game.

Psychological Explanation

The Fight or Flight response:

In prehistoric times when the fight or flight response evolved, fight was manifested in aggressive, combative behavior and flight was manifested by fleeing potentially threatening situations, such as being confronted by a predator. In current times, these responses persist, but fight and flight responses have assumed a wider range of behaviors. For example, the fight response may be manifested in angry, argumentative behavior, and the flight response may be manifested through social withdrawal, substance abuse, and even television viewing. (Friedman & Silver 2007)

Males and females tend to deal with stressful situations differently. Males are more likely to respond to an emergency situation with aggression (fight), while females are more likely to flee (flight), turn to others for help, or attempt to defuse the situation – ‘tend and befriend’. During stressful times, a mother is especially likely to show protective responses toward her offspring and affiliate with others for shared social responses to threat. (Taylor et al., 2000)

(Source: Wikipedia)

Therefore you do what you can to ensure your best chances of survival. Education, intelligence and patience only serve as layers to your core truth.

So when we blog, comment on pages or forums, state our opinions publicly it’s self-serving even when it feels like doing something for a greater purpose. That’s why we often can’t help but fight for what we believe in. The more we feel our core truths to be threatened, the more emotional our reaction is.

You can change the world – indirectly

So is all the time spent on getting your opinion across worth it since everyone is just there dishing out their truths anyways? Yes, because if you truly believe in something, opinions of trolls aren’t the ones you’ll change. It is offering another perspective to a broader public who was only exposed to the troll’s opinion. Now you gave that person another perspective he/she can base his/her beliefs on. Changing the world is not via forcing your opinion on others but to set an example and let them choose for themselves and making that choice possible.

Spread Your WisdomSource: Confucius

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Have you ever noticed how many stupid people are around you?

Chances are, you’ve been confronted with a mind-blowing stupid comment or action before. Even though the stupidity of said person has caused you a splitting headache, lashing out is not an option because
a) (deserved or not) you can’t just bitch-slap people on a daily basis and
b) well, they are in the majority.

To save you some pain and guarding myself better for future encounters, here’s a revised survival guide for the remaining intelligent population on this planet based on the The Fundamental Laws of Human Stupidity by the late Carlo M. Cipolla.

1. DO NOT underestimate the number of stupid subjects in your area!

You might find yourself in a large social setting thinking (contrary to fact) that not everyone here can be stupid. Wrong. Yes, they can and in most cases they are!

You see, stupid people like to hang out in groups. Being around like-minded imbeciles fuel their sense of self-worth.

Warning signs to look out for: The increase of bragging BS,  the accumulation of crappy jokes, content grunting etc. AND whoever said ‘There are no stupid questions’ needs to be locked into a cabin with some people I’ve had the displeasure to meet.

2. DO NOT assume because someone is X, therefore they cannot be stupid!

Yes, good-looking people have it easier to get what they want through their appearance, therefore – unlike others – they can allow themselves to neglect exercising their brains.  Before you make a quick judgment, factor in how many people are damaged through their past, so there’s a good chance that he/she grew up with a point to prove and with that,  might be a lot smarter than you are.
This insight also applies to the opposite end. The bloke/chick with glasses as thick as an ashtray might not be the Einstein you were looking for.

To sum it up: Stupidity comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Just because someone is a professor, doctor, lawyer or president still doesn’t mean that he or she is prone to stupidity.  It’s one  rare case of true equality in this world.

3. A stupid person is someone who causes other people a loss
a) without gaining anything themselves
b) causing harm to themselves due to that action

‘No way, if he/she did that, he/she would lose everything! ‘ Don’t base your decision on this. You cannot rationalize stupidity which makes it so hard to defend yourself when faced with stupid opponents. Stupid people vehemently cling to their beliefs, destroying not only other people’s lives but also everything they’ve ever had. There is just no logical explanation why stupid people do what they do. You on the other hand jeopardize your safety, happiness, money, time, energy, health and other resources for nothing through engaging with them. It’s just a matter of time till you get dragged down as well. So always be cautious and cut your losses. No one wins here.

4. DO NOT underestimate the amount of damage a stupid individual can cause!

When you know you’re superior in intelligence, you might be tempted to use a subject inferior to your intellect for your cause. Go back to rule No. 3 and figure out why you should abort that plan while you still can.

This leads to the most important insight of today:

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person!

This is pretty much the gist of the survival guide. If you’re one of the rare intelligent people out there, please do not sacrifice yourself by trying to change said subject. You cannot reason with someone who chooses to fuck him-/herself over. Go out of your way to avoid this sort of person because there is really just no win there!

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