John Halley (d_h_belmont) wrote in wise_tits,
John Halley
d_h_belmont
wise_tits

Dangerous Thinking

I've noticed a lot of people in general will consider certain "evil" people in history and even today as "stupid morons", which violates the basic rule of combat according to Sun Tzu, which is "Know your enemy as you do yourself and you shall always be victorious". To that end, I recently watched a fascinating program on Ted Kaczinsky, better known as "The Uni-bomber", on National Geographic. This is the guy who spend nearly 20 years in a shack in Montana building bombs and sending them to Universities. I was so fascinated by the way this guy's mind ticked, that I proceeded to read most of his "Uni-bomber Manifesto", which he kinda forced the media to print under the threat of more bombings, and while I don't agree with his methods, or the very core of his argument, I thought his commentary on the world in which we live in to be thought provoking and disturbing. I even agreed with some of it. Some people would think that's a bad thing, but remember it's a logical fallacy to assume an idea is bad because someone who is bad came up with it or agrees with it...

Anyway, I was discussing this at work with a number of my co-workers on our break, and one of my workers mumbled "Oh, he was an idiot.". To call Ted Kaczinsky an idiot shows a gross understanding of the Uni-bomber. By no means am I trying to say he was a great guy- he was a mass murderer, but as an eleven year old, he was already considered a genius. He skipped a few grades and went to Harvard. He was smarter than the FBI who was trying to chase him, and had it not been for his family turning him in when they realized the Manifesto matched the things he was known for writing, he would still be out there today blowing people up. The FBI's first "sketch" on this guy's personality was 100 percent wrong.

The same could be applied to Hitler, who, once again, was one of the worst individuals of humanity's history. I've heard people call him an idiot, too, but let's not forget this guy took a completely destroyed and bankrupt nation, and in less than a decade, came within a hair's width of taking over the world.

Or here's the current day example: Osama Bin Laden. Again, terrible person, mass murderer, but here's a guy who's been behind countless attacks, including September 11th, and the United States can't seem to figure out where the hell he's at! We're really going to call him stupid? He's very intelligent, and dangerous.

Now all of this isn't to say any of these men are "great", but I think to call them "stupid people" is dangerous thinking because it's a gross underestimation of your enemies strength and wit. If we confront our enemies with this smug overconfidence and this imagined ineptitude of who we're fighting, we'll be in for an unpleasant shock. What's to gain by thinking your enemy is stupid? Their ideas may be messed up and wrong and even stupid, but it doesn't hide the fact they're clever, otherwise, they wouldn't be such a threat to begin with.

I feel like I'm going in circles here, so I'll summarize...

To regard an enemy as "stupid" seems to be a typical mentality for most people.
To acknowledge an enemies' abilities and intelligence is not treason, but an honest assessment of what you're up against.
Overconfidence leads to quick defeat, something most people know, but don't seem to practice when it comes to these matters.

Am I on to something?
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