Half of the human race, it is to be presumed, is below average in intelligence. And that 50th-percentile bar isn’t all that darned high:
I just can’t believe how stupid people seem to be, how willing they are to be conned, how resistant to reason and rationality, how ready they are to deny the nose on their face and ignore the evidence of their lying eyes.
It’s always seemed to me that we’re born that way, and some manage to learn their way out of it. (“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” — Will Rogers) My concern is that Darwin isn’t getting his due. Used to be, if you were mind-bogglingly dumb, you perished quickly, and that was that. Nowadays it’s a prerequisite for political office: voters, we are told, want “someone like them” at the helm, and to the horror of the rest of us, they quite often get their wish. (“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” — H. L. Mencken)
Which is not to say I’ve never done anything dumb. (If you’ve read this stuff for more than ten minutes, you know better.) But I do try to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes I even succeed.