Ostomy Memories of Artificial Stupidity


A LOT OF PEOPLE THESE DAYS FEAR the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI), not only the prospect of it taking over jobs previously performed just by humans, but the scary, science fiction depiction of AI-driven robots, lacking emotions and the vulnerability of human beings, taking over the world. Yet there is something that I fear more than artificial intelligence; it is artificial stupidity. This results from the failure of our educational system to teach students HOW to think. Instead, they are being programmed as to WHAT to think. It’s not just the school system either. It is the parents, indoctrinating their kids into the same prejudices and idiocy they exhibit. Where do you think the second grader learned about the ‘N’ word? His parents. Political and cultural bias fed into the home via the television and one-sided news programming infects the entire family and generational dumbness survives to perpetuate the inability to separate fact from fiction. The latest ploy to protect the continuation of artificial stupidity is the effort by various state governments to limit the subject matter of what educators can even talk about. We make the very existence of such things as racial prejudice disappear by making the mention of it illegal. We create the existence of voter fraud by repeating the words over and over again, even though no evidence exists to support the claim. It’s GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.


Yes Henry, you make some good points but teachers (the standard has never been lower in my country), parents, television, politicians, etc., all come second best nowadays to what is known as "Social Media".

In this day and age, the internet holds the power.

There has never been a more influential, powerful tool.

Keep well.


P.S. How else would I read your daily musings?

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I am a country girl from rural East Coast Canada. I was not very worldly.
My first marriage, I married into an old Southern family in the US.
This was the 80's. I was culture-shocked when I moved down there.
What shocked me the most was that there was still a black-white issue going on.
Generation after generation teaching their kids to hate (both sides...it is even awful to say 'sides').
The KKK even marched through the town one day.
I thought I had stepped into the Twilight Zone!
Does this really go on today?

Reply to veejay

Absolutely.  Social media broadcasts the stupidity, enhances it, solidifies it, proclaims it, and awards it points, as if its very proclomation justified its existence.  You've hit on why I have such ambivalent feelings about the Internet, so many bad aspects, so many good.  I believe the bad far outweighs the good, as I take it you do as well. 

Reply to Anonymous

It's more subtle, but just as engrained.  I remember the first time I heard an actually intelligent person speaking with a Southern accent.  It shocked the hell out of me, as I always associated that unique drawl with ignorance and prejudice.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Hello HenryM.
Thank you for bringing this vexed subject to the surface.
My own deliberations on this resulted from experiences as a schoolchild, when many of my ‘answers’ were deemed to be ‘wrong’, because they were thought through, rather than regurgitated as answers that someone else had previously thought of.
Anyone who has a desire to progress in the educational system needs to learn that thinking for oneself is not what is required.
Many/most of my ‘PD’-labelled clients were also people who thought ‘differently’ to that which was expected in this covertly controlling society, which often perceives difference as potentially subversive of the status quo.
It seems to me that the people who run the show have deliberately designed these social systems to indoctrinate/brainwash the population into believing what they are told.
When I designed a programme to help people to think for themselves , it was interesting that the university employed me to undertake this programme with PhD students who, it seemed,(as you say) had not been taught how to think for themselves during their so-called previous education.
When if comes to PhD level, there is an expectation that they will have already have been brainwashed enough to stay in line, and therefore can be trusted to support the status quo in whatever work they undertook in future.
It would appear that the ‘system’ requires compliant humans who will be duped into ‘buying –into’ whatever the ruling classes lay on their educational plate. Imagine how much revenue would be lost if people actually thought things through before they bought all the irrelevant stuff that the business fraternity try to sell.

I think that our modern societies actually want people to all think the same and that their thinking should be in line with what they have been taught. (by whatever devious methods have been used throughout their lives).
In so-called democracies, this monoculture is sold on the pretext that people have free-will and are not ‘dictated’ to by unscrupulous rulers.
I could go on (& on!) about how unscrupulously covert these systems are at ‘persuading’ people to get in (& stay in) line. However, none of the protestations are likely to find a sympathetic audience, as this basic ‘education’ has been going on for generations and many people perceive it as ‘normal’ or ’natural’ and therefore do not able to think about any viable alternatives.
I leave you with a rhyme which juxtaposes mono-thought and mono-culture as an alternative way of looking at these concepts.
Best wishes


Some people simply do not think.
Beyond one train of thought.
They cling to this and do not blink.
All else amounts to nought.

This first begins within one mind.
Within one person’s head.
But then they search to try to find.
Ways by which to spread.

One problem is, they think they’re ‘right’.
And others must be wrong.
Then they think that they should fight.
So other’s join their throng.

I’ll take the individual first.
To ask what’s going on.
Let’s analyse their best and worst.
Work out why reason’s gone.

Usually I use a coin.
To illustrate this point.
Disparate concepts can enjoin.
Make heads and tails conjoint.

When people have one point of view.
And cannot empathise.
Even though their thoughts are slewed.
They’ll try to legitimise.

They need for all to think the same.
And cannot be empathic.
In days gone by they had a name.
They were psychopathic.

Mini, minor, mono- thoughts.
Will just one way portray.
If they can find enough cohorts.
They sometimes win the day.

Then we’ll have a sub-culture.
With thoughts all much the same.
All embracing monoculture.
A shame, but who’s to blame.

Just like the ever rolling pine.
And fields of oil seed rape.
A mono-crop’s a Frankenstein.
Not easy to escape.

Everything it trys to smother
So nothing else will grow.
It has no time for any other.
Or for what they know.

They perfect the art of killing.
All that’s different.
For they’re rarely ever willing.
To be tolerant.

Once they have established laws.
And ways of doing things.
They will wage relentless wars.
Therein lay the stings.

They cannot seem to be content.
To hold their view alone.
They will not tolerate descent.
Within their mono-zone.

So all free thinkers must beware.
Of mono-minded men.
So sadly short of savoir-faire.
And lacking acumen.

Do not let them rise and rule.
And don’t let them preside.
For they will treat you like a fool.
Your will will override.

Let’s create a land where we.
Can all have equal sway.
A land where everyone is free
To choose a different way.

Let us come to recognise
That ‘free’ means more not less.
And ‘mono’ will epitomise.
Cognition in a mess.

                               B. WITHERS 2007

                       (In: Contemplation 2010)

Past Member

Sadly, the sick sport of burning books has progressed to burning thoughts and ideas. This was always a feature of most governments, even so-called civilized societies. Burning thought at the stake of "Protecting our Children". Yes, Henry, the concept of teaching people how to process information is absent, sadly, just how to pass exams, tricks, and techniques in passing tests is the main function of schools.

The result is that people don't know how to filter information or how to process any filtered information they might extract from the daily news grind.



Hi Henry, I'm wondering if this post was prompted by your state's new "Don't Say Gay" legislation. Talk about moving backwards. One of the most profound ways that the artificial stupidity you refer to is allowed to continue is through people who get their "news" online. Every time you click on something, the computer brain makes note of it and will feed you more of the same. If you are inclined to click on right-wing leaning articles, it will feed you more of them. What you won't be fed is anything with an opposing view. I am pretty skeptical of people who say they get their news from the internet. I have a friend who doesn't read newspapers and doesn't watch TV news. She considers herself well-informed. I'm not so sure.


Reply to delgrl525

Thomas Jefferson once wrote to a friend:  "The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them..."  He'd say the same about most Internet crapola, I assume. 

Past Member

Hi there, I think the finer points in news and news events will defeat most of us. Unless we have an inside track in a place where you need high security clearance. Forget about those actual, real conspiracies all around us. The detail of theft and outright robbery of billions of dollars from US taxpayers in Iraq and Afghanistan might not be available, but you can pick out little chunks of reality if you pay attention and if you are lucky. One very serious evening news show reported that nine billion dollars had "gone missing" in Afghanistan... oops... but it was probably just "an accounting error". They talked about it like it was a dollar short at the register!!?? People just assume that things like this are just glitches in the big machine!! Who knows what happened to the money (9 billion is a fraction of totals).

You can actually know about things like this, just accept them and move on, and most people will just shrug and just get on with it. What can you do about it..?? Nothing!! If you pick an object of fear and hatred, terror or shame or love and happiness, then you put a face on your nemesis. Hate, fear, truth or outright lies all have a face, slogans... simple sharp words, uncomplicated, easy to create a simple chant for the masses. Simplicity is the key to attract people who live by slogans.

I just spoke to a relative whose son is possibly a mathematical genius and very smart in most areas. She said he looks at the headlines and often gets the wrong end of a story. People think that they can absorb and analyze much more information than they actually can. With the old New York Times, I remember reading a very long article. Turned out the very last paragraph in the article changed the whole tone and meaning of the story. Reading 99% of the article would have left me less informed than if I finished the last paragraph.

Judith Miller, a top-level reporter with the NY Times, wrote a full-page apology in the NY Times for lying about the evidence for war. She got every scrap of information about the lead-up to the war from the White House. The NY Times heavily influenced the debate on going to war.

Radio is still a great source also. The main thing is to find the same story from different sources, gives you a chance.


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