The Invasion of the Idiots

Umberto Eco writes

“Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. Then they were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.” (Trans. T. Bolin).

How very true.  With one correction: the idiots have the right to speak but they should have no expectation that anyone with sense will listen to them much less take them seriously.  The idiots have as much right to be heard as CNN and the Huffington Post and Fox News and NBC and ABC and CBS and the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.  But like those outlets of infotainment, they have no right to be taken seriously when they speak about matters like theology or history or exegesis or archaeology.

Indeed, the truth is, only idiots heed idiots.  So let them.  Those who wish to know better will seek to know better and those who are satisfied with rank ignorance, stupidity, and misinformation will never care for the truth any more than a person who watches the Naked Archaeologist really cares about the facts.  Their ignorance is invincible.  They should be left to it.  To rot in the swampy stew of their own putrid mindlessness.

4 thoughts on “The Invasion of the Idiots

  1. Ken Leonard 10 Jun 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Indeed.

    Historically, the hideously uninformed might rant at a bar and be ignored by the not-as-ignorant other patrons. Now, sadly, they form groups online and suddenly start to look like they represent someone other than complete idiots. People somehow think that a person presented as the president of the American Society for Traditional Values (I made that name up … but wouldn’t be surprised if it exists) has some credibility, even though he really gets his history lessons from Wallbuilders and his version of “values” actually comes from the moral philosophies of Jefferson Davis and John Calhoun.

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  2. Milton Almeida - Grace Ambassador 10 Jun 2015 at 11:39 pm

    …and they can do that hiding behind the computer screen, remain anonymous, “protected” from the bars of correction, and so, they continue to display their idiocy by… pointing out everyone else’s… Oooops!

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  3. Tim Bulkeley 11 Jun 2015 at 12:49 am

    OTOH Eco seems to believe that Nobel Prize laureates do not speak twaddle when they pontificate outside their area of expertise. Frankly that is itself twaddle just take these remarks http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/10/nobel-scientist-tim-hunt-female-scientists-cause-trouble-for-men-in-labs as an example….

    Anyone who thinks they are above contradiction is beneath contempt.

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  4. Ken Leonard 11 Jun 2015 at 9:18 am

    I’m not sure that I read his comments as saying that you have to listen to all experts slavishly. Heck, sometimes experts disagree. But there’s a difference between, say, Robert Reich and Alan Greenspan debating economic policy and the rantings of some guy who learned everything he knows about economics from a college dropout on talk radio (any of them).

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