You might think they are harmless, or at worst only a danger to themselves. This is not only incorrect but can actually get you killed. Their babble may amuse you as they wander around from one disaster to another, and sometimes with long enough periods in between that a casually observer might misinterpret their antics as harmless.
It is like a structural engineer who warns the public that a suspension bridge is dangerous, yet the county defers maintenance and people continue to drive on it. Sometimes years go by without a serious incident. Mark my words, friend. The disaster will happen and you do not want to be anywhere near when those cables start snapping, or when the fingers start pointing after the carnage.
When we are younger we deserve a lot more slack because basically life is a lot like that game Operation where everyone has to get a few shocks to figure out what works and what doesn’t. All young people are basically stupid (with terrifying rare exceptions), and this process of hard-knocks can be dragged into adolescent social awkwardness. Therefore do not be too hasty to judge children, because often they can grow out of whatever dysfunction their family handed down and/or overcome their exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment. Young adulthood is where the roots of the Moron Tree begin to spread as bad habits become cemented, parental and institutional influence fade, and the state hands out divers licenses.
How to spot stupid
There are so many reasons why stupid is dangerous that it is difficult to even know where to start, and unfortunately an uncomfortably large percentage of them are sleepers and do not stand out like Florida Man. Idiot is an an often misapplied and politically incorrect term and refers to those who’s level of functionality is so low that they cannot survive on their own without 24 hour supervision. This is the extreme side of the scale. On the other side we have the “functionally stupid” with relatively high levels of cognition but a total inability to see the big picture or understand long-term consequences. The first group can give you the best hugs of your life, but the latter are like ticking time bombs. To help you sort them out from the merely-boring or a temporarily case of brain flatulence here are a few indicators that can help you evaluate a possible carrier of the stupidity virus.
They do not really understand the purpose of laws, and think that it is okay to dump their trash on your lawn but would freak out if someone else did it to them.
There are lots of brilliant people out there who are lazy, but they usually “do it well” and waste their talent creatively versus the other kind who cannot comprehend why things never seem to go well in their lives despite their deep commitment to never doing anything constructive.
Psychopaths are notoriously difficult to spot for people who have not have already learned the hard way, but stupid mean are easily noticeable from a football field away. They tend to get arrested a lot and make up a large percentage of the prison population. Women who fall into this category are less likely to be more outwardly violent and tend to be more “talk to the manager” types, but there are the parking lot chicken sandwich fights.
This may contradict with lazy, but actually the lazy ones are much safer than this type. These are the guys who run into a barn fire and try to put it out with a couple cans of gas. The worst cases usually do not make it past their 20s, but milder cases with generational wealth are highly susceptible to manipulation and can cause a lot of damage if a controller guides them into a profitably corrupt political career.
Otherwise known as institutional stupidity, this is where people have an outbreak of stupid within an organization and get swept up into the poorly named “groupthink” Its quite the opposite of thinking, and in fact is a thinking replacement.
The difference between intelligence and wisdom is that the latter tends to doubt itself and re-evaluate its position as the world inevitably changes around it. The former has an advanced degree or some other certification as proof of their ability to conform to social norms and solve puzzles, therefore whatever you have to say that contradicts their world view is false, morally wrong, and possibly racist or communist depending on their party affiliation.
Otherwise intelligent people can also be paid to act stupid, but once the Ship Of Fools starts making its inevitable turn for the rocky shore they are the first rats to go running for the lifeboats. The rest begin to peel off as the ratio of intelligence begins to cross with psychological need for acceptance and belonging.
Those psychological needs are not signs of stupidity in and of themselves because they are important for our ability to cooperate and survive as a species, but as strong primordial impulses they are regularly preyed on by charlatans who demand loyalty above all else. Loyalty is earned, of course. It can be bought as well, but things deteriorate pretty quickly once the checks stop coming.