Stupidology | A General Introduction

If ever there were a reason to do philosophy, one might turn to Socrates and his famous dictum that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Surely if this is true then there is no reason not to do philosophy if one plans on living; it’s “philosophy or die” — that’s the choice these words present with virtually no alternative. But for as much as I appreciate this kind of no-holds-barred style (and Socrates’ character in general), I find a few things to be…odd about this statement. Namely, a few things the dictum doesn’t say about the unexamined life that might be worth considering.

For one thing, the dictum doesn’t say that an unexamined life is a miserable life. It is entirely possible to be happy and not think about one’s life at all. Likewise, it doesn’t say that an unexamined life is an impoverished life. One could feasibly live a life of prosperity without thinking about life in the meantime. These insights (and others) could be used as objections to the dictum, but what I find most interesting is that the dictum actually allows for many reasons to do philosophy. With this statement Socrates was proposing that an examined life is a necessary feature of a life worth living (they are inclusive); it doesn’t say in what way it is to be examined, only that it has to be if it is to be worth living. Practically speaking this means that your chances at living a life worth living are only increased if you find some other reason to do philosophy than avoiding a life not worth living. With that in mind we might say that depending on what the unexamined life is like there might be even more compelling reasons for doing philosophy. And as long as we’re on that topic, if there’s one interesting thing the dictum doesn’t say about the unexamined life (that I find particularly compelling for doing philosophy) it would be this: the unexamined life is downright dangerous.

Frankly, I don’t think I can sum up the foundation of stupidology in a way more succinct than that.

As much as “The School of Stupidology” may sound like a joke or an Internet meme factory, after all of the stuff I’ve read and reflected on it seems clear enough to me that the philosophy of stupidity has some serious implications that deserve legitimate attention. Actually, it’s hard to find something that this area of philosophy doesn’t have implications for (and we’ll get into why that is another time), but for now I think the most important aspect about it is that it even has implications for what you should do with the study itself (it actually requires metaphilosophy, go figure). On those grounds, if I were to provide what it means to be a stupidologist then there is at least one meaningful distinction between “someone who studies the philosophy of stupidity” and “a stupidologist”; that being that a stupidologist doesn’t simply study stupidity – rather they study stupidity in order to become less stupid. And this is because while to Socrates an unexamined life might be a fate worse than death, to the stupidologist (in a strange twist of irony) the very same thing can get you killed.

Yes, not examining your life (i.e. “doing philosophy”) can literally cause death if you don’t understand the implications of your own actions before it’s too late. And there is definitive proof of this. …Actually there’s a lot of proof of this. (Sadly.) But in order to make a case on this, I think an example is in order — an example I’ve been dying to use in actual discourse on this subject but haven’t been able to for lack of an audience (thus the blog). It all dates back to 2012 when an Internet trend started called the “fire challenge”. Some of the more savvy Internet folks might connect this to things like the “ice bucket challenge” or the “mannequin challenge”, and they’d be right. But for those not in the know, essentially all you have to do with any Internet challenge is to do whatever activities are specified by the challenge and upload a video of you doing it to the Internet. The fire challenge itself is pretty straightforward: you put a flammable substance on yourself and then you set yourself on fire. That’s it. Nothing else.

Sounds like fun, right?

Unsurprisingly, near death experiences did occur (as is the case with many other Internet challenges, but I digress). And while the results are certainly tragic, the elephant in the room here is how unbelievably absurd even the prospect of “death by fire challenge” is. The fact that setting yourself on fire can kill you is general knowledge. There’s really no excuse for not knowing that in the 21st century — geography and economic class be damned. Hell, even people who are considered developmentally handicapped can recite the dangers of playing with fire. (We’ll make some distinctions between IQ and intelligence later on, don’t you worry.) So what gives? Why did this person do this? Why would anyone do this? It’s confusing and fascinating and kind of disturbing all at the same time. Luckily there are people who lived through the challenge who might give us some insight into these questions. But the strange part about studying the responses of these people is that to many of them the aforementioned fact (and other relevant facts about fire) seemed to be news to them.

Take this kid whom, after being hospitalized, gives two peculiar responses to the journalists investigating the story:

Quote (from the article): “When we asked the teenager what he thought would happen when he set himself on fire, he said, ‘I don’t know, I wasn’t thinking really.’ [emphasis mine]” He also discouraged others from partaking in the challenge according to another article: “‘You can get caught on fire and die, your house can get caught on fire, wherever you’re at can get caught on fire,’ said the teen, cautioning others not to light themselves on fire for any reason.” Most people would look at this statement and say “duh”, but what catches my attention here is the drastic change in disposition from before and after the challenge. Before the challenge the boy states himself that he had no conception of what setting himself on fire would be like. But after the challenge his conception is very clear and precise and he even appeals to it to dissuade others from doing the same. In other words there is a very clear link between one’s conception of some kind of activity and one’s positions toward doing it.

Seeing as how our positions toward doing some activity have at least some bearing on whether we actually do it (I wouldn’t argue this is always the case, but in many cases it is), this would mean that a clarification of one’s conception of some activity may actually dissuade us from doing it. But if we consider what a clarification of one’s conception of anything actually entails, then my point from earlier starts to make sense: clarifying conceptions is entirely within the purview of philosophy. There’s literally nothing else that does that. So, with all that laid out, the argument finally comes to a head: if we happen to have a case where one’s current conception of some activity would lead them to engage in it AND that activity would lead to their death AND at the same time a clarification of that person’s conception of that activity would lead them not to engage in it, then — bada-bing, bada-boom — a lack of philosophy can kill you.

Thus the seed from which the rest is born.

Given that there are many different kinds of activities that all lead to different states of affairs, technically a lack of philosophy can lead to any state of affairs depending on which of one’s own activities go without clarification. Essentially a life without philosophy necessarily becomes a sort of lackadaisical and random experience filled to the brim with an almost uncanny amount of self-generated instability; this kind of life simply takes what comes to it and does whatever based on who knows what and merely accepts everything that happens as a result as it is no matter how regrettable it might seem in hindsight. Thinking about philosophy in this light, Socrates’ dictum may very well be right: a life like this doesn’t seem like some “grand alternative” to death (actually it sounds kind of absurd in comparison). But this is not to say that the infusion of philosophy would make living this “grand alternative”; “the examined life” could be conceptualized in a number of different ways and not all of those ways will necessarily avoid “the absurd life”. Some seem, however, more or less promising.

And I contend that a life built around stupidology is sufficient for doing just that.

This is because in studying the nature of stupidity one finds an overwhelming wealth of evidence that acts of stupidity are, in some sense, a class of activities which when clarified to a certain extent would result in no one having the position that they would engage in them. (The reasons for this are complicated and deal with axiology, but we’ll deal with that bridge when we cross it.) Indeed the mere existence of an activity that can’t be “pinned down” as something to do or not to do in a distinctively objective sense seems to imply that it isn’t necessarily stupid. There might be disagreement around it, but calling someone stupid for doing it or not doing it in this context is fundamentally rhetorical and doesn’t carry the weight that the term implies in other prominent uses. Case in point: we don’t call people who set themselves on fire “stupid” because it’s merely a rhetorical term to express that we simply disagree with the action. We mean something far more delegitimizing: no one in their right mind would do this.

It’s this “in their right mind” part that’s privy to stupidology.

Fundamentally, it is the job of the stupidologist to discover which activities fall under this category of “no one in their right mind would”, what would make something fall into this category, what this “right mindset” entails, and what might put us in this mindset. We might also consider what activities might fall into the category of “everyone in their right mind would”, what a “wrong mindset” might look like, and similar lines of inquiry. There are also the implications that come with the sheer existence of such a “right mindset” and the apparent inability of people to possess/apply it (as demonstrated in many behaviors). It is the latter which provides the evidence by which a proper theory of this “right mindset” can be constructed. But in order for us to have evidence of this kind, we must define what counts as evidence of this kind. Therefore, the key to figuring all of this out lies squarely and solely in an examination of the concept of stupidity itself. One must define what stupidity is (in more than the vague “universalist” sense I’ve provided) and figure out what causes it. One must discover its reach, its spread and its potential. And in doing so one must also ask the ever pressing question: “am I stupid?”

All of this is to be understood in the context of the existence of the phenomenon in which a reconceptualization of an activity can change one’s behavior to avoid specific states of affairs, in turn theoretically providing a way to avoid any potential state of affair indefinitely as long as those affairs are the result of one’s own behavior. The goal is simple: cut the stupid activities out of our own lives and inspire others to do the same (so as not to be the victim of their stupidity either) by reconceptualizing stupidity itself. In so doing, stupidology builds not only a world-view but a way of life, fully committal and communal (thus The School of Stupidology). It is as much concerned with abstract and theoretical considerations as it is the everyday workings of ordinary people in their everyday lives. But it is also concerned with how these things might inform and work together to obtain (or massively fail to obtain) the goal. As a result we think about the choices we make, why we make them, and why those choices matter. We think about the failure of our minds to fully grasp the things that are and the states of our lives that stem from this failure. And we think about the role that philosophy has to play in this scheme.

This is stupidology: a type of pragmatism but with a quasi-existential turn.

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A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 15 | On Cognition And Stupidity Part 1

As I detailed in an earlier post, Welles‘ conception of the workings of the mind (essentially a cognitive theory) is based on the cognitive theory of Sigmund Freud (you know the one: the Id, the Ego and the Super-Ego). However, as Freud’s theory has since fallen out of favor it would pay now to see what has changed in cognitive psychology since Welles crafted his theory of stupidity in 1986.

…Or perhaps what he simply neglected while he was writing it.

The cognitive revolution (so it’s called) had already begun in the 1950s which would eventually overtake the behaviorist approach that Welles explicitly advances within his own theory by the 1980s. (The reason for this is because behaviorist theories were mostly centered in North America and cognitivist theories were imported from Europe. However, the thing is Welles uses certain terms within his theory which suggests that he was at least familiar with the premises of cognitive psychology.) In any case, cognitive psychology itself is marked by the idea that we can reverse-engineer the workings of the mind (and therefore behavior) by studying artificial intelligence and computer science. …It just so happens that both of these things use the concept of information extensively and so the concept was extended into the field of psychology. The very fact that people in scientific areas were already using the term information in the context I would have it used came as a relief in that I wouldn’t have to justify its use in this context at all. The only problem would be justifying my specific way of understanding it.

Likewise, I found some solace in cognitive psychology that the second necessary aspect of Welles’ theory — that we, human beings, have some kind of ability to receive environmental information and process it away from the environment — is very well developed and accepted among cognitive psychologists. Actually, cognitive psychology is, by nature, a field interested in information-processing involving the brain, the mind, and its relationship to sense-experience and that’s EXACTLY the kind of thing that I was looking for in developing a theory of stupidity. In that way, I found that justifying the ability itself is somewhat unnecessary and I can move ahead on the grounds that such a thing is not only possible but scientifically documented. I also knew exactly what I would have to do in order to redevelop Welles’ theory of stupidity: cut out the Freudian stuff, look at the schema in terms of complex information processes, and connect cognition back to behavior through the schema conceptualized as a system of information.

That sounded like a winning formula.

But in order to do this I would have to make some modifications to how we understand a few terms in cognitive psychology. The first was the concept of thinking itself. Cognitivists generally don’t consider thinking itself to be a behavior due to it’s impact on other behaviors.  However, I would contend that thinking is absolutely a behavior and should be seen as such. There is absolutely no reason for a distinction between thinking and any other action and we can study thinking behaviors just like we can any other kinds of behaviors psychologically: through a cognitive framework. It might seem odd to say that cognition is the root of cognition but this isn’t some fanciful theory and is indeed supported even by cognitive psychology in the various studies of meta-cognition. Essentially, if we are to really understand human thought processes (and therefore stupidity, as that’s where our behaviors come from) then we will have to study meta-cognition far more thoroughly than we have before.

The second would be in our conception of learning. One of the basic tenets of cognitivism is that brains are a lot like computers. However, we have yet to produce a computer that is capable of all of the things the brain is capable of in terms of sheer variety and simultaneous application. But one phenomena in particular that is currently being demonstrate in artificial intelligence is the ability to teach itself behaviors through its programming. As this is the case, human beings should be able to do this too. On this account I have a bone to pick with Welles: his theory suggests that all of behavior is adopted because of our own positive or negative mental states. But if this is the case then a person couldn’t ever become less inclined to behave certain ways unless they enjoyed it. This is relevant because if thinking is a behavior then this model doesn’t seem like it’s a necessary one  — theoretically cognitive behaviors could be learned so that emotions play little to no part in decision-making. This gives us something to consider:

Any theory of cognition (which we need for understanding stupidity) should be able to account for the ability to learn new cognitive behaviors and unlearn old ones.

The last thing that we have to concern ourselves with is the concept of a belief. Welles sees the schema or the belief system of a person as the definitive cause of action. Emotions only come in later to entrench behaviors that arise from the schema. But in cognitive psychology the schema is considered the system in which information is organized and related to one another. This an interesting connection that Welles drew between belief, behavior and information that he didn’t really explore: essentially the belief would have to involve information and the belief in that information would inspire action. When I thought of this for the first time I realized that this wasn’t exactly a new way of looking at beliefs. Pragmatists had used a similar definition of a belief (provided by Alexander Bain) since the school’s inception: “that upon which a man is prepared to act.” Welles here seems to connect the “that” to “information”. In other words, a belief is information that a person is prepared to act on. It would be this conception of a belief that would prove to be integral in my general theory of stupidity.

But before we get there it would pay to look at the implications of this definition of a belief and how it impacts our understanding of cognition from a cognitivist’s perspective. And, of course, how this ties back into our earlier discussion about information and the environment. Between those two things, we would be well on our way toward a working theory of stupidity.

To Be Continued

A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 14 | On Information and Stupidity Part 5

With the relationship between information and truth clarified, it was finally time to really think about how information is expressed in the ontic language — and that meant delving into the first of the remaining questions concerning Welles‘ theory:

1) How is information stored in the environment?
2) What properties would allow people to have the ability to translate environmental information into human languages?

To answer this question, it seemed like going back to the distinction I started off with would be appropriate: the ontological/informational distinction. To recap: the idea here is that the thing itself is not equivalent to the information about the thing. This led me to start talking about three different ways we might understand information as a whole through the term “about”. However, when I got to the answer I was looking for on this front, I necessarily had to move away from the relationship between the information about the environment and the environment itself because information about something (on a whole) can be stored in places that are not in the environment. As it stands we still have no basis for understanding how information about the environment can be stored in the environment. However, finding this out is a necessity if we are to justify using environmental information as the reference point by which all other information can be determined as true or false (as is necessitated by Welles’ theory of stupidity).

While information about the environment might be understood to be “about” it only by linguistic conventions, the other ways that the term “about” could be understood that I identified are a bit more appropriate for understanding the relationship between the environment and the information about it that is stored in the environment. The first understanding of “about” was that information about something is located where that thing is. This seems like a necessary aspect of environmental information given Welles’ assumption that we have an ability to receive information from the environment: under this conception, information about trees which is stored in the environment would be located in the environment wherever there are trees and therefore it wouldn’t make sense, given our theoretical ability, to go out and attempt to glean information about trees from a place that only has rocks. Simply put: the rocks can’t tell us anything about trees. But there is still something missing from this conception in that while it might be true that information about something in the environment is stored where that thing is, that doesn’t tell us anything about the meaning of that information.

To put this into perspective, let’s say that we have a tree in the environment. There would be information that is by linguistic conventions (in the ontic language) about the tree located where the tree is (consistent with our current conception of information). But even with this in mind it doesn’t tell us what is or isn’t expressed in the ontic language in that location. (Note: I will be using Tarski’s notation for dealing with different languages both written in English for the remainder of this piece. The ontic language will always appear in quotations.) There is no way to say, under this conception, whether “the tree has leaves” or “the tree does not have leaves” or “the tree is tall” or “the tree is short” or “the tree is old” or “the tree is young”, etc. etc., is there or not as all of these statements have various different meanings yet they are all still about the tree by linguistic convention. It could very well be that, under this conception, all of the possible expressions about the tree are there and from that every statement about the tree in every other language would be true. The problem with this, of course, is that people could not be wrong in holding any information as true in that case.

As Welles maintains that people can be wrong, there’s something else Welles’ theory necessitates: not all information that could conceivably be about the tree is where the tree is.

However, our other conception of “about” (the third one) doesn’t necessarily suffer from this problem. Under this conception, information is “about” the environment when the environment is the source of that information. While the environment could be the source of all the possible information about itself, it could also be the source of only a limited amount among those possibilities. In that sense, there would be limits to what the environment can supply in terms of information and therefore not all information would be true — rather the information that is true would be just the information the environment can currently supply. This conception is much more advantageous in that it can link the ontology of the environment to the information about it: whatever is in the environment would determine what information about the environment is also there and therefore what the environment can supply (and also what information is true). And whatever isn’t in the environment would determine what information about the environment isn’t there and…you get the point.

While this would make the ability to translate information from the ontic language into human languages a fantastic tool in representing the environment, this conception has it’s own problem too: while there is a necessary link between the ontology of the environment and the information stored in the environment about the environment, it isn’t obvious where that information is stored. In short, it could be stored anywhere and this would make some problems for our ability to translate information in the environment because we wouldn’t have easy access to the information about the environment even though it’s there. On that account the first sense of “about” seems to be more appropriate. But ss I mentioned in a previous post, these two conceptions of the relationship between information about the environment and the environment itself are completely compatible and indeed together they overcome each other’s weaknesses. But taken together there is another affect that is worth some mention:

These two principles — the necessary link between ontology and the content (and by extension, meaning) of information as well as the storage of information in the ontic language where something to which that information is about is located — sufficiently cover the first major necessity of Welles’ theory: that information about the environment is stored in such a way that the environment itself can communicate this information.

Not only is the information stored in a reliably retrievable form (near things that have information about them) but the information would also coherently communicate something significant (the being of the thing itself). This was an interesting way of looking at things but the question is whether these principles are actually true… Certainly it would make our conception of stupidity a bit clearer: being wrong about anything would be inextricably linked to the inability to acknowledge beings themselves as they actually are and that might have something to do with why stupidity ends up backfiring. Although at this point in the journey I wasn’t sure about that — it was worth considering. Still, I thought that taking these principles to their logical extremes would be the next step in seeing if there’s anything really wrong with any of it. For the remainder of this journey, the following principles would serve as the precursor to a Unified Theory of Information and I would be drawing on them when dealing with the concepts of information and truth:

1) Some information about the environment is expressed in an ontic language — a language that is not fundamentally linked to the existence of people.
a. As it is linguistic in nature, this information has meaning.
2) Expressions of the ontic language are only found where beings are and these expressions are necessarily about the beings themselves.
3) There is a necessary relation between expressions in the ontic language and the ontology of the beings to which they are about.
4) Expressions in the ontic language are necessarily true and therefore the basis by which all other information is deemed true or false (due to the relationship between synonymy and truth).

With that out of the way it was time to finally focus on the second of Welles’ assumptions: that we, human beings, have some kind of ability to receive environmental information and process it away from the environment. And on that account, Welles’ concerns with the workings of the human mind were the next stop on my journey toward a theory of stupidity.

To Be Continued

 

 

 

A Journey Toward A Theory Of Stupidity 13 | On Information And Stupidity Part 4

With my newly-minted Info-Semantic Theory of Truth in hand it was time to readdress the necessary aspects of Welles‘ conception of information:

1) That information about the environment is stored in such a way that the environment itself can communicate this information.
2) That we, human beings, have some kind of ability to receive that information and process it away from the environment.

Without talking about how information is stored in the environment, by positing an ontic language (a necessity of there even being environmental information) I was able to say that environmental information could theoretically be communicated to us via some process of translation from the ontic language into human language. Likewise, while the ability to receive environmental information could be attributed to the application of an ability to translate environmental information, the ability itself was still speculative. However, if we did posit such an ability doing so would theoretically allow us the ability to process any information from the environment away from the environment just by processing the same information (i.e. information that means the exact same thing) in our own languages in a location that is not stored in the environment. The Info-Semantic Theory of Truth would further provide that if either the information stored in human languages or the information found in the environment were true then statements in any language that share the same meaning would also be true.

The questions that remain are:
1) How is information stored in the environment?
2) What properties would allow people to have the ability to translate environmental information into human languages?
3) What makes any information true?

I decided to answer the third question first because I was already thinking about it and wanted to apply my theory to Welles’ theory of stupidity. To do this I decided to go back to Welles since he had already evoked the concept of truth and I thought it best to see what that conception would necessitate as it must be consistent with this theory in order for me to keep both. Unfortunately, while Welles evokes the concept he doesn’t actually delve into what truth is. And this is a problem because Welles’ theory of stupidity rests heavily on this concept — the very idea that people are stupid because they are delusional (i.e. wrong, therefore don’t know the truth) when it comes to the themselves and their environment is expressed loud and clear throughout his writing. However, in the idea that people can be delusional at all we find something that helps us understand his position: the only way that people can be strictly wrong about anything is if our mental attitudes do not have any sway over what is true about those things.

This is important because it means that truth would be a property information even before we have any interaction with it. Under the Info-Semantic Theory of Truth all that is required is for one sentence to be true and all the other sentences with the exact same meaning would also be true; with this in mind, analyzing human language is not entirely necessary for determining the truth of statements in these languages and we can focus chiefly on how environmental information is true. The problem with this line of thinking, though, is that there is a nasty question that crops up that might undermine the entirety of Welles’ theory of stupidity: can environmental information ever be false? If environmental information can be false then it wouldn’t always be a trustworthy source of information; getting information from the environment would sometimes be no different from getting information from a liar. And as Welles’ theory relies on a disconnect between environmental information and the informational biases of individuals to function, should environmental information not always be true then the disconnect could sometimes be justified.

This meant that Welles’ theory required something even more than previously stated: that information from the environment is never false. Seeing this, I decided to figure out what I could do to resolve the issue for Welles’ theory. Doing so would give me a better idea of whether Welles’ theory was tenable and I could also apply my theory of truth to case examples within the context of Welles’ theory of stupidity. (This isn’t to say that I would be keeping either theory; to me, these thoughts were all tentative as I merely wanted to explore the various issues surrounding information and truth.) The solution itself seemed simply enough: using the Info-Semantic Theory of Truth, if some information is true then any information that means the same thing as that information would also be true. In this case we want to say that environmental information is always true. So if we define truth as a property of information in which that information means the same thing as any information expressed in the ontic language then environmental information would always be true because it is necessarily expressed in the ontic language (as that’s how it’s stored) and necessarily means the same thing as itself.

Cool, problem solved. But what are the ramifications for Welles’ theory?

Under this conception of truth, just as long as the environmental information is there (i.e. stored in the environment) it would be true. If it’s not there then that information wouldn’t technically be false (because it doesn’t exist and therefore has no meaning to compare to itself) but any statement in any other language with the same meaning as information that isn’t there would necessarily be false. If we add the theoretical ability to receive information from the environment that is also posited by Welles into the picture, that ability would turn out to be incredibly trustworthy for obtaining truths. Likewise, as such an ability would be a form of translation, any failure to obtain truths would be due to a mistranslation (due to complications) or a lack of translation (due to not applying the ability) rather than the fault of the ability itself. On that end everything is still consistent with Welles’ theory of stupidity. But this is not to say we’re out of the water yet: defining truth in terms of some information’s semantic relation to itself seems…kind of circular. And that’s a bit of a downer since circular reasoning is to be avoided.

Then again, upon closer inspection, it doesn’t seem like avoiding this is possible.

While it’s true that circular arguments are usually considered fallacies in logical debate, the relation between information and truth in this case is worth some attention. Given that any definition of truth is going to be expressed in language this means that the definition itself is information. As truth is (at least) a property of information, this means that any definition of truth is going to have to be applied to itself in order to determine its own truthfulness. Therefore, if we are to say that a definition of truth is true then it would necessarily have to support itself (or at the very least it can’t undermine itself). This is why statements like “truth is mind-dependent” find themselves on thin ice: if we apply this information to this information it undermines itself; what if my mind, which under this conception this information’s truth is dependent on, takes this statement to be false? It was at this point that I realized something crucial about truth: if we take what we learned from Tarski into account — that any information that means the same thing as information that is true is also true — essentially what we’re attempting to do by defining truth is to determine which information is necessarily true and therefore the reference by which all other information of the same meaning is also true.

At some point when we go to determine what information is true (we define truth) we have to choose which information’s semantic relation to itself is the basis for the truth of any other information. Without doing so we cannot even evoke the concept of truth because the line of references would never end or be nonexistent and we’d be stuck in limbo forever.

THAT was a cool insight and gave me a bit more confidence in going forward with my conception of truth. Likewise it meant that I was at least on the right track by locating the “necessarily true information” (NTI) somewhere as that’s what makes any information true — whatever the NTI is. Welles simply locates the NTI external to people because by his account people can be wrong. And I’m inclined to agree with that. Heavily. So with that out of the way, it was time to focus on our other questions and see what ramifications they have for Welles’ theory of stupidity; given that in Welles’ conception of information environmental information is true simply by virtue of being there, it seems it is finally time to tackle how information is stored in the environment.

To Be Continued