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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Difference Between Ignorance & Stupidity

A person who is ignorant lacks knowledge. In fact, the etymology of the word "ignorant" is "without knowledge". A neurosurgeon who can't fix a car is not stupid, nor is a mechanic who can't do brain surgery. For the same reason, most children are not stupid.

Stupidity is more complicated. One kind of stupidity involves being short-sighted, such as sitting on the wrong side of the branch they're sawing. Another form of stupidity is really more a kind of laziness. A good example is a person who is too lazy to gather information and check it before doing something new. Yet another kind of laziness-stupidity is the inability to sort truth from falsehood. The last and most severe form of stupidity is the inability to learn. This includes learning from mistakes, learning from others, and using logic.

To sum up:

A wise person learns from others' mistakes, a sane person learns from his own mistakes, and a stupid person never learns.

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