Fandango’s Provocative Question #15 Redux


I’m on vacation this week, so this is a repost of an earlier FPQ post from February 2019.

Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question is based upon a quote by Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. Whew, that’s a lot of cred. Anyway, Russell, who died in 1970, suggested that…

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that, in the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubts.”

Do you concur with Mr. Russell’s perspective? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

20 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #15 Redux

  1. PCGuyIV September 28, 2022 / 8:08 am

    On the whole, I would agree. It falls to the same principle that the more you know, the more you tend to realize how much more there is that you don’t know. It’s easy to be certain of things when one believes they have all the important details readily at their disposal. Someone more enlightened can likewise be certain of what they know, but has a harder time being convinced they have all the necessary facts to express any level of certainty regarding a matter that could have multiple views and many potential solutions, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol anne September 28, 2022 / 10:33 am

    Yes, I do! Far too often intelligent people doubt themselves, or someone comes along and says no, you can’t say that, that isnt true, etc. Then even if you are right, you begin to think you wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen September 28, 2022 / 10:41 am

    I would add that there are many people who are capable in their particular daily activity — which can include a very complex and demanding job or career or profession and which could’ve required extensive training or higher education)m — and mistakenly (or possibly stubbornly in an effort to keep up appearances) generalize and act like they know what they’re doing in everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen September 28, 2022 / 10:56 am

      Oh, and there’s not only stupid. I knew, when I was a kid, that there is such thing as evil (and I tended to think it was rare). But, among other changes in my point of view, I noticed that I (as well as many people) frequently subconsciously (or hovering near consciously) used the word stupid when what was happening was evil (or, often, both whether in the same individual or in a group of friends or in a movement).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen September 28, 2022 / 1:46 pm

        Then there is the question of “intelligence” and its definition or our understanding of it. There are people with no job or with low status work [what is low status likely to vary from a person or society to another] and no matter the “education” level who are intelligent alongside people who know the steps of their job description (whether in computer engineering, biological science, brain surgery, or rocket science/engineering) who are not actually intelligent — and vice versa certainly. Some can lack even a solid understanding of their field but can follow their assigned steps [while a percentage, higher percentages from some fields or positions, in such a category will go ahead and bluster around]. Of course, they’re by definition more intelligent than* an ape. But an ability to see a bigger picture and so forth…

        *{ — will come back to this —}

        … and, then, I think there’s fear. This has become obvious (all over again instead of our lofty perceptions of improvement). Fear is a decision point (but not everyone sees the fear whether in themselves or others). You’re going to end up deciding something doesn’t actually matter (or doesn’t matter enough {and it might not}), or deciding to be evil — or to be courageous or something like studious and/or patient and observant. (These choices assume some agency; other people will be simply overcome. Power is a thing.)

        Where is the valuation for being humble and honest? Here, I think I’m contemplating that it’s not only stupid people being cocksure but our culture devolving [perhaps after brief elevations] into wanting the cocksure over the considerate. Developing intelligence involves some skepticism (or doubt); not doubt for doubt’s sake. Still, we need an ability to be confident of some things, most of the time. Otherwise, we upend our very structure without deliberate processing.

        There’s the option to admit you don’t know, at least yet, or that something isn’t an area for which you have much foundation; possible for anyone of any intelligence. Maybe the problem now is that some with intelligence, by way of hurrying to beat the unintelligent, behave stupidly.

        (And/Or that some who are evil seize their opportunities.)

        Whatever the case… again, we have many proceeding as if urgency isn’t called for when an old warning is relevant now (with the evil motive of being amongst those who do the coming for pressed onward): “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…”

        Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) ….. spent the last eight years of Nazi rule, from 1937 to 1945, in Nazi prisons and concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for his postwar statement….

        I suppose the bottom line is I disagree with the statement in terms of the “fundamental” one “cause of” [when you get to the bottom of it all] “trouble.”

        But Mr. Russell referred to the cause of “the trouble” — so he might’ve not meant in general but in a particular matter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen September 29, 2022 / 9:40 am

          * Check into National Geographic’s
          (NOT specifically about apes).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen September 30, 2022 / 9:53 am

          This fella came up with an interesting idea for a book, but I don’t feel like he had a good reconciliation of the fact that people we tend to think of as smarter (even if not better) wanted stupid things just as, for instance, George W Bush did. The author has a different solution, pivoting in the end.

          Andy Borowitz: How American Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber | Amanpour and Company

          Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 28, 2022 / 8:08 pm

      No, it’s just that with social media, stupidity is more contagious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen September 30, 2022 / 2:06 am

        Sadly, and negligently and more, mainstream papers* of record (also, obviously, published online) have picked trash up from social media and printed it as if the product could be or was journalism. Yet, Roland also mentiins COINTELPRO (syllabic abbreviation derived from Counter Intelligence Program) (1956–1971).

        … How Russian Trolls Fractured The Women’s March

        Over the weekend, New York Times[*] published an article pointing fingers at Russian internet trolls helping dismantle the Women’s March movement.

        This is quite long, so I’ll recommend a couple time segments: 34 to 41 and 37-and-a-half to 42-and-a-half.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen September 30, 2022 / 11:38 am

          I’m listening to this (video above) again. The beginning 27-and-a-half minutes, and on to 29, are also really significant. The whole thing is… but, like I said, the whole thing is long. (I challenge people to hear — and see if you can feel history “rhyming” [and not only back to 1956 or 67/68 BUT CERTAINLY THAT TOO.]

          Here (below) is something (else) that has greatly effected me in my transformation in life. I had already switched on personally, so this was an additional connection for me on Rash HaShanna one year (in a way that doesn’t usually happen in organized religion… and, as it happens, I wasn’t in an organization):

          Come on, although you try to discredit
          You’ll still never edit

          The needle, I’ll thread it

          Radically poetic

          Standing with the fury that they had in ’66
          And like E-Double, I’m mad
          Still knee-deep in the system’s shit

          Hoover, he was a body remover
          I’ll give you a dose
          But it will never come close

          To the rage built up inside of me
          Fist in the air, in the land of hypocricy

          Movements come and movements go
          Leaders speak, movements cease
          When their heads are flown

          ‘Cause all these punks got bullets in their heads
          Departments of police (what?) the judges (what?) the feds

          Networks at work, keeping people calm
          You know they went after King
          When he spoke out on Vietnam

          He turned the power to the have-nots
          And then came the shot


          Yeah, back in this

          With poetry, my mind I flex
          Flip like Wilson, vocals never lacking that finesse
          Who I got to, who I got to do to wake you up?
          To shake you up, to break the structure up
          ‘Cause blood still flows in the gutter
          I’m like taking photos
          Mad boy kicks open the shutter
          Set the groove
          Then stick and move like I was Cassius
          Rep the stutter step and left a bomb upon the fascists

          Yeah, the several federal… man…
          Who pulled schemes on the dream

          And put it to an end

          You better beware
          Of retribution with mind war
          20-20 visions and murals with metaphors

          Networks at work keeping people calm

          You know they murdered X
          And tried to blame it on Islam

          He turned the power to the have-nots
          And then came the shot

          What was the price on his head?
          What was the price on his head?

          I think I heard a shot
          I think I heard a shot
          I think I heard a shot
          I think I heard a shot

          I think I heard a shot

          I think I heard, I think I heard a shot

          (He may be a real contender for this position)
          (Should he abandon his opposed obediance to the white-liberal doctrine of non-violence)
          (And embrace black nationalism)
          (Through counter-intelligence it should be
          possible to pinpoint potential trouble-makers
          and neutralize them)
          (Through counter-intelligence it should be
          possible to pinpoint potential trouble-makers
          and neutralize them)

          (And neutralize them,
          and neutralize them)

          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up
          Wake up

          How long? Not long, ’cause what you reap is what you sow

          I’m not including the following link due to having read the article — I’ve only read the beginning. I simply chose it because it starts off with attribution of a truth to which I alluded.

          “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

          This quote is often attributed to Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), an American humourist and public commentator. Born in 1835, Clemens had a front row seat during one of the most exciting, dynamic periods of globalisation in human history — the turn of the 20 Century. His generation witnessed an explosion of wealth unimaginable even one generation earlier… ~

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen September 30, 2022 / 2:22 pm


            Rosh HaShanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, Rōʾš hašŠānā, lit[erally] “head of the year”) is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה, Yōm Tərūʿā), literally “day of shouting or blasting.” It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days (יָמִים נוֹרָאִים, Yāmīm Nōrāʾīm; “Days of Awe”)…[2] that occur in the late summer/early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah begins a ten day period of penitence culminating in Yom Kippur, as well as … ~


        • Marleen October 10, 2022 / 4:24 pm

          So… COINTELPRO ‘ended’ and the war on D…

          War on DxrXuXgXs [Otherwise Peaceful and Innocent Americans Who Voluntarily Choose to Ingest Intoxicants and Weeds Currently Proscribed by the Government] began.

          If only the instinct to vomit could get this recurring nightmare out of our historic and established system.

          Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.