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Let’s Hope We Find A Cure! – Part II

October 22, 2014

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Before I start, if you are looking for Part I, it isn’t posted yet.  The reason being it refers to a disease that is also spreading across the country, but the one I am going to talk about now has exceeded it in epidemic proportions.

The disease I am referring to, is stupidity.  Understand that the word is defined as behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgement.  Somewhere along the line it seems a major portion of the population decided it was easier to not exercise good sense and blindly base opinions on a lack of information.

The media has not helped in curing this problem.  Pick up any newspaper, liberal or conservative (terms that have done more to make people stupid, but that is for another post), and look at the headline, then read the article.  More often than not they say two different things.   A recent example: “The President’s Credit Card Was Rejected”.  Now if that is all you knew you would think he has bad credit or went over his limit.  But neither of those is the truth.  Once you read the story, you find out the bank declined only because of possible fraudulent use and a simple phone call would have resolved the issue.  Now most of us have had this happen, and while at first a little embarrassing, we are glad our credit card companies are watching out for us.

One of the funniest and saddest headlines was “Weapons of Mass Destruction Found”.  This would imply that Bush was right and Americans did not die in vain.  Oops, turns out these weren’t the ones Collin Powell had said were there, but leftovers from previous wars.  The conspiracy theorists are having a field day with this one, the government lied, what else could they be hiding?  The government lied, no duh!!  What do you think got us in the Iraq war in the first place?

The biggest example of stupidity has to be the “Ebola” scare.  There are more people expressing opinions, fostering fear, and spouting inaccurate information than I have ever seen.  We now have an “Ebola Czar”.  Give me a break!  At the time of this writing there were three cases in the United States.  What we need is a “Stupidity Czar”.  Stupidity has infected more people and is more contagious than Ebola by far.  Oh, and has killed more people than Ebola, worldwide.  Someone put on Facebook that “more Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola”.

Social media seems to be spreading stupidity at an alarming rate.  How many times have you seen a post or message stating some fact or another that when checked out is untrue.  A simple fact check with sites like Snopes.com  can cure most of the ignorance that is perpetuated online.  The problem is that there are too many people willing to send the false story along without checking the facts.

Ironically, while writing this, I had to leave to go to a book signing by author Garth Stein who wrote “A Sudden Light”.  During his talk he made the point that we have become too dependent on the information highway and are not interacting with each other.  We tend to only look at web sites that agree with our ideas and therefore do not expose ourselves to different opinions.  Too many people rely on one news source for keeping up with the world.  Somewhere along the line we lost the ability to have healthy discussions on issues and forgot that it is okay to agree to disagree.

As bad as this epidemic is, there is a cure, there is hope.  Open your mind, listen to someone you disagree with and see if maybe they have a point, check the facts of a story before re-posting it.  Above all don’t be so quick to judge or label someone or something.  People are not really stupid, they just lack information that would allow them to use good sense and good judgement.

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