Monday, February 04, 2008

Definitions of words to be employed for the study of stupidity

There are a lot of books out there that help one attempt to be successful in a number of endeavors. But I think understanding how not to succeed may be as important as understanding how to succeed. Because stupidity sometimes seems to be a contributing factor to failure (although success sometimes seems to occur in spite of it), I propose that we invent a science of stupidity. To that end, I begin here a lexicon of useful terms. I will update this list from time to time as I learn more.
constigration: (constipation + confligration) failure to allow to pass through one's mind (recognize or admit) the contribution of one's own stupidity to the disastrous consequences that are unfolding around one in a consuming inferno.

epistemiology: (epistemology + epidemiology) the study of the population mechanisms by which stupidity propagates.

Godwin's inversion: The probability that once an analogous reference to Hitler or Nazis is made in an argument, the remaining comments by all contributors will be stupid.

jedi mind trick: the mistakenly optimistic belief that one's stupidity won't be observed in public.

ridiculocity: (ridiculous + velocity) the rate and direction at which stupidity propagates.

spidey sense: the mistakenly optimisitic belief that one's own level of good sense and special insight are always good enough.

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