We have a problem: There are way too many idiots in the world. And because they’re idiots, they have no idea that they’re idiots. And therein lies the rub. Have you ever tried to get an idiot to realize it? It’s way harder than you’d think. The problem is that idiots have powerful defenses against that sort of thing. That’s what makes them idiots.

My wife is a perpetual student. She attended a culinary academy ages ago, but continues to take classes. Why, I don’t know. Most of the students are half her age and clueless. Don’t get me wrong; we were all young and dumb once. But far too many of these snowflakes are arrogant, annoying, controlling little shits.

My wife witnessed one such know-it-all authoritatively showing another student how to mince garlic, except she was slicing and dicing the little bulb like it was an onion. With all the humility she could muster, my wife kindly demonstrated how chefs in the real world do it: crushing the bulb with the flat blade of a knife and then finely mincing it. Easy.

The snowflake said, “That’s not how I do it …” and continued her exercise in futility with her sheeple student following right along. My wife just rolled her eyes and went back to what she was doing.

Those idiots will probably never learn a thing. Why would they? Why should they? They already know better.

That sort of thing happens all the time.

The other day I got an email from a young guy who apparently bought my book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow (shameless plug), and got all the way to page 18 before coming across something so wrong that he just had to set me straight.

One of the book’s key tenets is that the internet is a ginormous echo chamber for boneheaded fads and scams that have the masses bamboozled on everything from positive psychology to a link between vaccines and autism, a claim based on research that was discredited as a deliberate fraud by a jerk named Andrew Wakefield.

This reader “guaranteed” that there’s a link, and suggested I “begin the journey of finding the truth” by watching a documentary he said “will open your eyes and your consciousness to a world that you didn’t even know existed.” The documentary he referred to was made by, wait for it, Wakefield.

Just to be clear folks, this is a pretty big deal. I replied to the reader that Wakefield’s scam “led to a significant decline in the use of life-saving vaccines and the preventable deaths of thousands of children every year,” I said, “In my opinion, he’s a serial murderer who belongs behind bars.” And I encouraged the young man to please vaccinate his children, if and when he has any.

“I don’t have children. But when I do, they will not be vaccinated,” he replied, “P.S. I stopped reading your book on page 18 yesterday. Sold it on Amazon today.”

Lack of common sense doesn’t make people idiots. Neither does ignorance, being wrong, or even being wrong a lot. What makes people idiots is being so arrogant as to think they’re more knowledgeable than everyone else when they’re actually clueless. That’s what compels idiots to push their idiot nonsense on others.

If you really want to change the world, here’s what you can do: See if you can get all the idiots to Google “critical thinking.” If you could do that, you’d be famous. Your name would be enshrined right up there with Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg as the genius who figured out how to get idiots to question their own idiocy. You’d be the guy who solved the world’s idiot problem.

Image credit JD Hancock via Flickr

  • BigGameHunter

    This article is a real beauty. So, true, too. I read it out loud, and we are all still laughing here. If you haven’t done so, get the book “Assholes, A Theory”. Not has good as your article, but you will be amused at the different varieties of them that are described. The common descriptive thread among the specie is a sense of self-entitlement. Anyway, this article is right for the times. Thanks!

    • Steve Tobak

      So many idiots, so little time.

  • Brad

    You former reader may benefit from a SciShow edition on vaccine bias https://youtu.be/Rzxr9FeZf1g
    to see an example of criticall thinking vs. the alarmist conspiracy flavor of idiocy. If he or she had children going to school with kids with leprosy, TB, polio or any number of horrific diseases that were eradicated by vaccination (here in the US, and for now as we are sure to see a rise with morons like this making “informed decisions” based on biased internet research), they may decide differently…..then again stupid is as stupid does. The positive is that your book is now potentially in the hands of a person with the mental capacity it was intended for.

  • Anon597956

    yeh, amazing. you’re so science-y and vaccines are perfect and can do no wrong
    except this presentation by the dept of defense that shows it does:

    modifying human behavior is possible (according to a video by the DoD), but autism or other effects arent possible… yeh.

    “one sure mark of a fool is to dismiss anything that falls outside his experience as being impossible”


    GL i don’t even hope to red-pill you… 100% you’ll call it a hoax (or call me an idiot)
    which is why i added that nice little quote

    • Steve Tobak

      And boy do we need that “fanatic” vaccine. It’s the VMAT2 gene. Who knew?