Smupidity defines the mental state wherein we acknowledge that we’ve never been smarter as individuals and yet somehow we’ve never felt stupider. We now collectively inhabit a state of smupidity where the average IQ is now 103 but it feels like it’s 97. One possible explanation for smupidity is that people are generally far more aware than they ever were of all the information they don’t know. The weight of this fact overshadows huge advances made in knowledge accumulation and pattern recognition skills honed by online searching.
This definition is taken from The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present by Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Shumon Basar (published by Penguin)
Please don’t think I’m doing a plug for a book, but I was really quite humored as well as sadly in agreement for the creation of this new word that describes many in our society today. The overload of information freely available to anyone with a computer and internet connection has created a sense of despair with the general public in knowing they’ll never attain the level of knowledge and understanding of all that’s being shared by billions out in the cyber-universe. The age of information is kicking into high gear and it will continue to a point where we’re left struggling to understand the nuances of the difference which sets every person apart from each and every other person on this planet.
Copy cats, mimickers, plagiarizers, and all the other millions who want to be someone they’re not, simply because they’ve lost their own identities and self-worths.
It’s not in vogue to be different in thought, word and deed in these times. Without people looking at life not as it is, but what it could be, we’re left being automatons. Every time I see someone creating something from their own ingenious minds, I’m all the more impressed by their core talents. There really must be more think tanks where people can go and share ideas that could one day possibly become great assets for the betterment of mankind. Some of the really big corporations have think tanks in their product research departments. Their whole function is discover ways to build new and better mouse traps so their companies can become all the more prosperous. This is certainly an income-driven approach to creativity, but what if we turn it around and create those tanks of thinking solely for the betterment of humanity. Research and development would be focused specifically on discoveries that are meant to alleviate some of the chronic problems that plague today’s world. For example: Think how the world in general would be if someone would discover a very cheap alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Think of the long term benefits if someone discovered a simple way to desalinate sea water costing perhaps pennies per gallon. And lastly, think what would happen if someone discovered a way to easily turn deserts back into fertile cropland.
I’m not yet convinced we must resign ourselves to being smupid because I believe there are those who still possess hidden discoveries in their minds that simply need a bit of coaxing to be revealed. Great minds work in similar furrows.