Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Stupid Day

Okay everybody, mark your calendars. January 5th is the official Not Stupid Day.

An example of The Stupid and Black Hat Guy (Not Stupid Day's (un)official mascot) fixing The Stupid.

As one of the founding fathers of Not Stupid Day (NSD) I feel it is my duty to explain a little bit about it.
First, an apology. NSD has many founding fathers and mothers, and if I start to name a few, I will forget some others. Therefore, I will not mention anybody. The founding fathers and mothers know who they are, and that is enough. Also, there may be some ambiguity about what you have to do to qualify as a founding parent.
Anyway, it all started as a little innocent remark on a forum. I will not quote the remark directly (to preserve anonymity) but it was a complaint about a certain national service not working properly and the poster blaming his/herself (anonymity again) for not doing this on not stupid day.
I then, innocently enough, asked if there was a Not Stupid Day, and when that is.
This sparked a little discussion, and we all decided that it would be nice to celebrate Not Stupid Day on a certain day, and we settled on January 5th. (Because, why not?)
So, what is Not Stupid Day?
Well, there are more than 6 billion people on this planet, and at any given time fully half of them are exasperated with the other half. It's for doing just plain stupid things.
“C'mon lady! That parking space is twice as big as your car. Just park and stop holding up traffic”!
“Excuse me, is this the bus to the central bus station”? “Dude, you're at the central bus station”.
“My laptop doesn't work anymore”. “Have you tried charging the battery”?
And other sundry examples. I'm sure that if you stop and think about it for a few minutes you will come up with at least 4 different cases where somebody near you did something stupid, and at least one (be honest!) where you did something stupid.
So, NSD is when we celebrate the fact that we are, in fact, not stupid. It's just one day a year where we make every attempt not to do anything stupid. Just to make a small corner of the world (near where I am) a slightly better place (for a given value of “slightly”).
Let's make one thing perfectly clear: I am not dissing anybody. I am not saying that most people are stupid, in fact, most people are of average intelligence (think about it...). I'm saying that everybody does stupid things at some point. Granted some more than others, but we all do stupid things.
January 5th is just the day when we try extra hard not to.

Another thing, the opposite of stupid is not smart. I don't expect that of anybody. Albert Einstein was smart. Isaac Newton was smart. Carl Friedrich Gauss was smart. Most of us are not that smart.
The opposite of stupid is clever.
“Oh, if I make a slightly wider turn, I can fit in this parking space in one cut, without backing up traffic”.
“Wait a minute, this is the end of the bus line. I must be at the central bus station”!
“Huh, my laptop stopped working. Maybe the battery died and I need to plug in the charger”.
So, in conclusion, NSD is not celebrated by playing chess, solving Rubik's Cubes or doing calculations on a slide-rule (although you can if you want to, it's just not an integral part of NSD). Instead, NSD is celebrated by planning in advance, being aware of one's surroundings, and generally being clever.
So go out there! Spread the word! (The word is Not Stupid, I know it's two words, but you know what I mean...) Tell your family and friends about NSD. Sign up for the Facebook event! Blog about it! Write to your congressman (or other parliamentary representative that you may or may not have in your country). Try to get as many people as possible to celebrate NSD.
If enough of us celebrate NSD we might vanquish The Stupid forever!
Or not. But it will still be fun.

1 comment:

  1. Three things. I'll start positive: nice write up. Second, re: the average intelligence comment. Most people do not actually have to be average intelligence. Say there were only ten people of Earth and there was a way of measuring intelligence which gave someone a value of 0-10. Say that 5 of the people got a 0 and 5 got a 10. The average intelligence is 5, yet all people are significantly far away from this. Lastly, nice integral pun (intentional or not).