Rant #1: Arbitrarily Stupid People

Arbitrarily Stupid People

Today I want to talk about Stupid People. Now this shouldn’t surprise you that an angry rant blog wants to talk about the stupidity of the human race – even stupid people have often pointed to another one and muttered “what a (explicative) idiot.” But I’m not talking about your normal run of the mill stupid. I’m not talking about the super stupids, or the ones that take it to the level of dying because they walk right off a pier while texting. No I’m not making that last one up. While loss of life is never funny (well almost – good dark comedies and The Darwin Awards argue contrary), we’re not even talking about that type of stupid.

This is a different type of stupid – one that is often disguised as arrogance, conceit, or even “pride.” These Stupid People are not even necessarily stupid all the time. Often times they can be normal, intelligent, or at least passable. I’m talking about the type of stupid that emerges from a person who decides arbitrarily that they know what’s best even without any background or knowledge. Actually, I like that term. We’re talking about the “arbitrarily stupid.”

Arbitrarily stupid is the worst, because it often grabs a person who in many other situations might otherwise be somewhat normal. Let’s take the following statement that anyone who works for an online company has heard over and over again:

“(amount under $200) is a f’ing rip off! I’m not paying (amount under $200) for hosting and a business website…”

Actually that is probably a mild version of this rant that I’ve heard countless times over the years. And from people who otherwise know their business and have been successful. First of all, how many new customers does it take to make up $200? Or $500 or $1,000 for that matter?

Second, where in the hell can you get a storefront for even one month for $200? Or $500 or $1,000 depending on what city you’re in? So for an entire year to have a site, display your wares, make sales, put out your brand, and be discovered by NEW customers you would otherwise have NO CHANCE of ever connecting….and you believe you’re entitled to all of that and the ability to verbally badmouth and abuse support on the phone for less than $200?

Really?

Do you have any idea how hard it was to buy a domain name in the late 1990s when the Internet just started taking off? Do you know what some people were paying for individual domain names? You’re paying hundreds of dollars for a store and likely thousands in questionably effective (as in rarely is) advertising just to get local attention, but $200 is too much for an entire year?

That is an arbitrarily stupid argument. And the reason is simple: Internet is ridiculously cheap when you look at how little it costs you versus how much companies have to invest to maintain or even grow. Considering that the online market is only growing and that’s the best way to find customers who don’t know you exist and have never heard of you – yeah.

So $16.67 a month is too much to spend on a business? You can’t spend just under 55 cents a day to promote your business? Then you need to sell it off and go work a 9-5. Period.

This goes along with the:

“Well paying a penalty because I let my domain name expire is ridiculous! That’s a plain rip-off.”

Yes, because if I didn’t pay my electric bill, water bill, gas bill, and rent for three months I shouldn’t have to pay any of that to get my lights, water, and gas turned back on and I’m entitled not to pay rent when I don’t feel like it, right? Do you see how utterly ridiculous and stupid that would sound if someone said it seriously? That’s exactly what that argument sounds like. You didn’t pay your bills, there’s a penalty. That’s life. That’s how it’s always worked.

THERE ARE NO NEW SPECIAL RULES BECAUSE YOU DECIDE THERE SHOULD BE!!!

Arbitrarily stupid people. But I guess science says that we’re actually all somewhat inclined to this – to always wanting to be right and always assuming our viewpoint on the world is the closest to being accurate and “true.” If we don’t actually know something we still often make up an opinion to have that position and defend it – despite not knowing anything. And then stupid comes when people decide they’re 100% right despite never learning anything on the subject they’re talking about.

What’s arbitrarily stupid? Complaining about INVESTING 55 cents a day in your business to succeed.

What’s arbitrarily stupid? Believing you can arbitrarily dictate what is or is not reasonable pricing for a business you have no experience or background in.

What’s arbitrarily stupid? Trying to dictate how someone else should compensate you for a perceived slight, especially when you’re asking for something you would never grant your own customers in a million years.

What’s arbitrarily stupid? Thinking losing an $80 account will affect a company that grosses millions.

What’s arbitrarily stupid? Assuming all the Internet is the same. Would you call Microsoft if your PlayStation was broken? Of course not because they’re two different companies: Microsoft has the Xbox 360 and Sony deals with PlayStations. Same with support for anything online. Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Go Daddy, Blue Host, Host Gator, Sony, Android, Constant Contact, and hundreds of others are all different companies. Yahoo won’t help you with a Google issue any more than your local Internet Service Provider will help you with a Microsoft Outlook issue.

Obviously you can tell I’ve worked in a call center before, but arbitrarily stupid is something that we should all be able to agree on is just annoying as hell. People who should know better not thinking or taking a stubborn stand instead of thinking about it.

Many so called webmasters charge $2-3 thousand for a crappy site and sometimes they don’t even honestly give you the domain name or do any SEO – they just charge an arm and a leg to throw up a modified WordPress theme and put up a few pages. Just because something is online doesn’t mean it’s less valuable than brick and mortar. Many times the opposite can actually be true.

Can I get a great lawyer to try my case for $500? Almost certainly not. Is $500 a lot of money? Straight up to a lot of people it is – but no one claims $500 is too much for a lawyer, especially if it’s a big important case.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except often times with a moment of someone being arbitrarily stupid there’s one glaring obvious issue: basis. Often times the person has absolutely no basis for where they pull the “fair number” or “solid belief” from. If that’s what they believe, fine, but don’t act like an expert when you don’t know anything.

Basically, arbitrarily stupid people piss me off because they’re the worst type of stupid: the kind where they don’t realize they are and they’re proud of it. You can find many examples of this offline as well but just remember you look no smarter than Homer Simpson in the following quote when you run your mouth off:

“I gave the guy directions, even though I didn’t know where it was, because that’s the kind of guy I am today.”

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