2 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Ambrose Bierce

  1. A couple of comments:

    Most of my friends are smarter than me and waaay smarter than the average bear. Nonetheless, they suffer from a mental impairment that prevents them from exploiting their advantage. While politicians, gurus, snake-oil salesmen, and other con men demonstrate that intellectual superiority is the road to riches, my friends toil at ‘honest’ jobs and complain that the world is populated by idiots. Somewhere, a business school guru chuckles and says, “Where they see crisis, I see opportunity.”

    In “Napalm and Silly Putty”, George Carlin observes:

    “Okay, now we’re gonna be takin’ our little drive in just a minute or two, but first a philosophical question: Have you ever noticed that when you’re drivin’, anyone goin’ slower than you is an idiot? And anyone goin’ faster than you is a maniac?”

  2. I’ve long known that I don’t have certain types of “smarts”. Seeing the “opportunity” is one of those areas. In other areas I am almost without peers. It’s important to recognize your blind areas and get help in those areas.

    George Carlin doesn’t resonate with me that well. I listened to “Napalm and Silly Putty” on tape a month or two ago. Some of it was funny. It was decent entertainment for my three hour drive to and from work. But a lot of his stuff, like the above, just didn’t match my perception of the world.

    When I posted that quote I had been awake for far too long thinking of a particular group of people. I was awake for a long time afterwards too. This morning I decide that it was really more a problem of “believing what you want to believe” and rejecting/ignoring evidence even though it was shoved in your face. In this particular “transaction” both parties probably brought an equal amount of “idiocy” to the table.

    I relearned some important lessons. It’s odd how one has to make the same mistake numerous times. But I think it’s getting easier to recognize when I or others make that mistake.

    The problem is in getting others to recognize they made a mistake. It’s a “When Prophecy Fails” sort of thing at times and at others it’s a communication style problem. I really need to finish reading “That’s Not What I Meant” by Deborah Tannen. More later in post when I have had more time to think about everything.

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