Friday, 28 April 2017

Fish Rain in Thailand and Einstein on Stupidity


Earlier today I read a WhatsApp post containing photos of Fish raining on Thailand  roads. (I later discovered that this was a 2017 regurgitation of the original 2015 post.)

The "fish on roads" photos had provoked thoughts of "evolution,  miracle, warnings from God etc" in the mind of the person who had posted it in WhatsApp.

Pursuing my hunch that this was a cheap hoax, I searched the Internet and came across this link which explains the context of the Fish Rain hoax:

The article above further provoked me to wonder about human stupidity. I recalled this pearl of an observation by Einstein quoted by Fritz Perls, a great Gestalt Psychologist, whose books I read in my early twenties.

"Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe." - Einstein as quoted by Fritz Perls

Just like Adam Smith's famous "invisible hand" that maximises overall human welfare,counter-intuitvely using selfish human behavior, the Internet has spawned its own "invisible universal brain" that takes no chances with human stupidity and ensures its infiniteness by constantly circulating such hoaxes.

In case you are getting the feeling that I am early vaccinated case, let me reassure you that no vaccine has yet been discovered against human stupidity. (While others use Whatsapp, I have my own playfields.) Also, given that Mankind has more urgent, pressing priorities, it is unlikely that any attempts will be made to discover such vaccine till eternity. In addition, we hold the late Mr. Einstein in such high regard that we will do everything humanly possible to ensure that he is not proved wrong.

The late Amos Tversky, who would have won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics with Daniel Kahnemann, his long time collaborator, but for his untimely death in 1996, was once asked about Artificial Intelligence. He replied, "We study Natural Stupidity". Studying stupidity can be a gainful occupation. 

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