Why are people so stupid?

Well, I haven’t had a real good rant for a while – in fact haven’t written much lately – but I’m finally drive to a good old-fashioned rant against stupidity. There seems to be a lot of it going around right now!

Politicians are an easy target, particularly when they get into any sort of tech areas, where they only open their mouth to demonstrate how stupid they are. For example, Missouri passed a law that text messaging is fine if you’re over 21 if you’re over 21! Stupid! Texting while driving is dangerous, period. Not only is it stupid to have a specific law against it (it’s always distracted driving, which has been illegal for years) but it’s a stupid law. What magically happens on the anniversary of 21 years alive that gives the driver super-powers to focus on two things at once? Stupid!

Then there’s stupid California, who are insisting on taking their (obviously illegal) video-game sales law to the US Supreme Court. They’ve “only” wasted $1 million of tax payers’ money on a law that’s been struck down in 12 rulings in the last eight years as State by State have tried to bring in similar legislation that has always been struck down. Stupid waste of tax payers’ money in a State that’s just about bankrupt. Stupid!

And there’s STUPID, stupid, stupid South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who tried to go after the principals of Craigslist despite the very, very clear provisions of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions. (Section 230 of the DMCA if he’d like to look it up.)  Pure political grandstanding from a stupid man who, rightly, now has an injunction against him and his office preventing them from acting. Craigslist quite rightly pointed out they are doing nothing illegal, that there is no legal way to go after the principals of the company and that there are wider and greater “illegal” actions by newspapers and magazines in South Carolina. A stupid man who should be drummed out of office for stupidity alone.

Then there’s the stupid TV broadcasters who’s business model is changing, so they too want a bailout form the Federal Government. Stupid.

But my greatest act of stupidity for the week comes from Podcasting news. In an article “Online Video Advertising…Is Horrible” James Lewin made the strangest comment:

“We already know that ad-supported Internet video is the future.”

Now you can imagine that caught my eye, because I have a pretty much 100% contrary opinion – new media (Internet Video) is very unlikely to be advertising supported. So, I was interested in what was behind the assertion as this forgone conclusion had gone by without me noticing!

Turns out, if you follow the link in the quote, that no such thing was proven. Stupid!

The report they are actually commenting on (through very biased and uninformed eyes imnsho) did state that people “were willing” to put up with advertising to watch free video on the net. Not that people wanted to; where happy to; or other qualitative information, just that they would watch advertising to get free video. Woopee. Like that’s news. 

But there isn’t enough advertising to fund new media; advertisers generally are not transferring substantial parts of their budgets to new media and that advertising support is the old media model and failing pretty much at every turn.

And yet, this is the “future”? The only future we’re considering? Even when their own report on the survey concludes with:

“The research suggests that people trying to make money with video podcasts and short-form Internet video may need to look for options other than traditional intrusive ads.”

How stupid is that? And yet, these type of stupid people have jobs! They have employers who obviously know less than they do and won’t call someone to task for drawing a clearly bogus conclusion (is the future) in one article that is not supported by the referenced article. Now that’s clearly stupid.

It’s particularly stupid when the New York Times is reporting in an article titled Ad Revenue on the Web? No Sure Bet that web startups are looking beyond advertising as a business model. (Well, d’oh, what have I been saying for the last two years?)

It’s also stupid when better thinkers in the space, like Chris Brogan, in an excellent post on The Next Media Company says as it’s fifth point:

“Advertising cannot be the primary method of revenue.” 

Anyone who’s not stupid has realized by now that advertising is not going to be the predominant means of supporting new media. It’s not even desirable because as soon as you take in advertising you’re beholden to the advertiser not your audience.

And that’s stupid.

But not as stupid as Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton who thinks nothing good can come of the Internet, when the problem is that the company (and it’s CEO) are simply too stupid to adapt to changing business circumstances. That’s another whole level of stupid.

Stupid people. Do not want!

Oh wait, there’s another level of stupid! Commercials between web pages. Just when I hope we’ve reached the ultimate level of stupidity it turns out there’s another stupid person just waiting to be less thoughtful, with less consideration for the real world, than everyone else.

4 thoughts on “Why are people so stupid?”

  1. Philip, you obviously had a bad day here. In all of the 15/16 years I have been following your opinion and placed some high value to it, I have not expected to ever see such a rant. Ironically you are still only a visitor to the great U of SA. It’s for some reason an emotional low, or a bad day ….

    1. Hi Thys,
      great to hear from you. The rant just bubbled up – I really don’t deal with stupidity well. There were some Digital Production BuZZ rants that went close to that sentiment. No particularly bad day.

      BTW, I’m now a permanent resident of the US – got my Green Card in January as an Alien of Exceptional Ability.

      Would love to hear what’s happening with you, send me an email when you have time.

      Philip

  2. Hi Philip – I’ll catch you on a PM. It’s heading for late, late night, with a very cold winter storm moving in. Enjoy the Sunshine State!

    6toecat – Dedicated follower of the alternate fashion.

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