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The Trouble With the World

  1. Nov 9, 2008 #1
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

    What is your take on that quote?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2008 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm not entirely sure.
  4. Nov 9, 2008 #3
    You never can say something is certain. I'm sure of that. :rolleyes:
  5. Nov 9, 2008 #4
    Thats a really good quote... gotta love Russell.

    I would agree that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are doubtful (now i am wondering whether these are prerequisite qualities respectively, what do other people think?), and it definetely does have adverse effects on the world.

    But saying "The trouble with the world is that..." kind of implies its the ONLY thing, which i would have to think about a lot longer to see if i agree with.

  6. Nov 9, 2008 #5


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    I think the problem is defining what (intelligence) one needs to run the world.
  7. Nov 9, 2008 #6
    Some emotional intelligence. What needed is some confidence to sway masses of people.
  8. Nov 9, 2008 #7

    Jonathan Scott

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    I wasn't familiar with that quote, and I'm grateful to be introduced to it. I've often felt very similar things myself, but not been able to express it so articulately!

    A closely related point is that people tend to gather support according to their level of confidence because it is assumed to indicate their level of ability, but confidence can also be related to their level of ignorance.
  9. Nov 9, 2008 #8


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    We've seen people in the past sway masses (mmm, I come close to Godwin here...) and it wasn't always such a good thing...

    I was out with some friends last night and one of them actually said something to the effect of 'he's such a great speaker, he could convince me to do anything'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2008
  10. Nov 9, 2008 #9


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    vansesch, I've been held back by that very problem when trying to describe the current US political situation.
  11. Nov 9, 2008 #10
    you guys are talking about groupthink. Groupthinkers are usually very certain,
  12. Nov 9, 2008 #11
    Does confidence not require a certain level of cocksuredness? (if that is a word).

  13. Nov 9, 2008 #12


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    A confident unscrupulous sales man would not need confidence in the product he was selling,
    to buy from him one would have to inspect the goods very carefully.

    I do not know how one would inspect a promise.
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