May 20, 2015

"You can look at these people and say, 'They are stupid'... I might say, 'That is their personality.'"

Said the psychologist quoted in a WaPo article titled "A 73-year-old base jumper died after intentionally setting his parachute ablaze. Why did he do it?"

Think about it: Maybe stupid is a personality type.

32 comments:

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I just found out about some Google executive, who died after some prostitute injected him with heroin, sometime during some extended bout of sexual high jinks, and I think that's probably somewhere in the grey area, stupidity-wise.

Dr.D said...

I have known a whole lot of people with that personality type. They seem to be everywhere you look.

RonF said...

Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is that you're STUPID and make BAD DECISIONS.

kcom said...

She's on the hook for entering a similar grey area in Atlanta, with the same result.

Death of former Masquerade owner re-examined after Google exec murder

Hmmm. Maybe it's not so grey.

tim maguire said...

I don't get it, the story says he intended to jump, set his parachute on fire, slip out of it, and pull a second parachute, and it looks like that's just what happened. I'm assuming it isn't since they're not likely to be wrong about whether he died, but that second parachute definitely appeared and it definitely had something heavy attached.

Gahrie said...

You don't make it to 73 if you are stupid. It was probably a form of suicide.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm mostly trying to suggest that we reserve the word "stupid" for people with the stupid personality type.

There are many people with below average intelligence, and it's inappropriate to refer to them as "stupid." In fact, I assume that most of them figure out good strategies for living with the measure of intellectual gift they have received (just like a person with subaverage physical gift adapts).

tim maguire said...

All too often, "stupid" does not mean "of low intelligence"; instead it is generally used to describe people who die doing something they love. "Darwin Award" is also commonly seen at these times.

Brian said...

"I'm mostly trying to suggest that we reserve the word "stupid" for people with the stupid personality type."

I think that we mostly do. That is what common locutions like "there are no stupid questions" mean. It's probably also what Forrest's mama meant when she told him "stupid is as stupid does."

lgv said...

Is a "type T" thrill seeker stupid? Or do they just do stupid things? Is a thrill seeking personality type the same as a stupid personality type?

The possibility of death is important to the thrill seeker. Without it, it isn't a thrill. It's like Russian roulette, only with odds they may be better and definitely appears better to them.

Redneck's final words, "Y'all watch this!"

traditionalguy said...

You would not call him slow. Suicidal thoughts happen to the very smartest folks who are easiest to catch in their own Strong thought. Like Marxists.

Rusty said...

Maybe he just had enough and wanted to leave making a grand exit.

Rumpletweezer said...

Stupid people don't know they're stupid. That's part of the deal.

JCC said...

"You can look at these people, and say 'They're stupid'..."

A guy jumps off a 500' high bridge wearing a parachute, and then sets his 'chute on fire. Intentionally. Etc.

I agree. I look at these people, and say 'They're stupid."

Chris N said...

Honestly, if a 73 old guy wants to go out in a blaze of plummeting glory, or die trying, I might be bothered if I knew him or knew people who did, but otherwise, not so much.

Gahrie said...

There are many people with below average intelligence, and it's inappropriate to refer to them as "stupid."

why?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Gahrie said...

why?

Because we might hurt your feelings.

DanTheMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Real men aren't afraid to set their parachutes aflame. It puts an extra kick in the rather banal experience of sky diving. I wouldn't say this man lacks intelligence, but rather his critics lack testosterone. I would say that even the presence of a flaming parachute diminishes the experience of sky diving. I use a tropical blend Brooks Brothers suit as a wing suit for the maximm adrenaline rush.

robother said...

"He calls it 'Type T'— where 'T' stands for 'thrill.''
No better epitaph for the 5 base jumpers who've died this month, I suppose, than B.B. King's biggest hit:
The Thrill is Gone.

Rae said...

He was probably a fun grandparent, though maybe a poor babysitter.

Larry J said...

BASE jumping is for people who find ordinary sky diving boring. It has a much higher fatality rate because the margins for error are so slim.

From the article, the guy wanted to open his chute, set it on fire, do a cut-away, and open a second chute. That's the sign of a guy who finds ordinary BASE jumping boring and wanted to liven things up a bit. Whether it was an intentional suicide or just a "Hey everybody, watch this!" move is something we may never know.

furious_a said...

More the "Hey, y'all, watch this!" personality type.


As long as he died doing what he loved doing, it's all good.

Anonymous said...

It's obviously a suicide.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Think about it: Maybe stupid is a personality type.

No. Loving risk is a personality type.

But maybe you were too daft to think about what you were saying when you said that. You almost never actually think about what you write.

Perhaps hating thought is a personality type.

Paco Wové said...

Maybe asshole is a personality type.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'm sure you would know that, PA-CO!

Also, "subservient milquetoast." A personality type you're familiar with, since its your very own.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Or, "deflecting, self-righteous milquetoast".

That describes PA-CO! perfectly.

The perfect PACO. The deflecting, self-righteous, milquetoast PACO.

Ripping open his guts for all of us.

How lucky we are.

jr565 said...

There is stupid, as in dull minded. And then there's stupid as in reckless with your life. A lot of thrill seekers are the latter. He could also have been a dullard as well, but there is no evidence of that.

jr565 said...

This reminds me of the old Norm McDonald joke about cliff Diving.
"There are only two categories in cliff diving. There's "grand champion" and "stuff on a rock"
Same rules apply here as well.

Rob said...

In a methodology called the Process Communication Model, there is a personality type, Promoter, that has a psychological motivator described as "incidence" or the need for intense excitement over a short period of time. This need is met productively by such things as being on stage, closing a deal, and engaging in competitive athletics. When the need is not being met with positive activity, the person ups the risk involved to increase the excitement of "winning". Situations like this are often the result when the risk level exceeds the skill.