The Purpose of Stupid Ideas

A sensible decoupling of stupidity from low intelligence is asserted in the following article:

What Is Stupidity?

Reflections: “Stupidity as a choice” is an apparently irremediable social ill which generates all manner of dubious yet persistent self-validations across the spectrum of human behaviour and knowledge. Some questions arise:

If serial and wilful ignorance provide little to no overt evolutionary advantage (i.e. survival aptitude) for individuals, what are the distributed (social or network) benefits to be derived from the possession, sharing or otherwise replication of stupid statements, beliefs or actions ?

Viewed from a purely information systems perspective – is it the case that the possession and communication of wilfully ignorant notions is a method by which gestalt, emergent, self-propagating information-processing systems (as cliques, tribes, cultures, ideologies, societies) can minimise internal stochastic novelty to cultivate a continuing environmental tenure for those systems ?

If ridiculous ideas are persistent in socially-networked information-processing systems, they must serve a purpose of some sort for the overall coherence and continuity of those systems. Just what that purpose might be is another question altogether.

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