What is Stupidity?

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July 31, 2013 by mattwilcoxen

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A provisional answer must be that stupidity has failed to submit judgment to the crucible of undecidability. Judgment is not properly judgment if it has not encountered the abyssal demand to which it is summoned. Stupidity involves a judgment that, having arrived at its conclusion, passes it off stubbornly as a truth. The judgment passed by this type of stupidity poses, among other things, a number of temporal problems, the most prevalent of which concerns its speed. Even though it is consistently associated with slowness, the endless frustration of non attainment, stupidity in fact moves too fast; fast-paced and in haste, it is always (already) a rush…to judgment. To the extent, moreover, that stupidity is bolstered by all sorts of accelerators, its spread undoubtedly derives essential features from our age of technological dominion, which is at all times on fast-forward–a speed that actually proves to be backward. Whereas the architect said, ” Less is more,” we must add to the lexicon of contemporary paradox, “Fast is slow.”  -Avital Ronell (Stupidity, p. 70)

I’ll confess, I’ve never thought much about the nature of stupidity. Avital Ronell’s book is changing that. I have some problems with her tyrannical insistence on the infinite deferral of meaning/judgment, but I think there are some good things here. What are your thoughts?

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© Matthew A. Wilcoxen and Canon and Creed, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew A. Wilcoxen and Canon and Creed with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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