Would We Be that Stupid? (Media Edition)

It's always struck me how much Media hinges on... stupid decisions. Whether it is the decision "Hey, I think we can Bring Back Dinosaurs as a Theme Park" to "Who cares if there have been Shark Attacks?! Vacation Season is On!"

Your Task is to think up any situation in Media and present it to our society now. And then ponder if we'd be stupid enough to go along with it.

To Start, I'm going to take the Situation Presented in Doom 2016. To meet the Population's energy needs, Humanity has tunneled a portal into actual Hell and harvest the Argent Energy to power everything.

And there are Demons. Actual Demons. It's not like they tunneled and all of a sudden Demons came out of nowhere when they least suspected it. There are actual protocols for Demons. They can sense Demonic Energy and can lock down places if there is Demonic Presence.

So, Would We Be That Stupid... to Harness Hell for our Energy needs?

This is one of the few times in the history of Mankind where I think rampant Christianity will help politically. Actual Proof of Hell would make lapsed believers take notice. And the implications of what would happen if mystical, true to life Demons being unleashed on our public would probably cause so much uproar that it would prevent actual progress in the technology for a while.

But then, the problem is that the zealots we have now would become Demagogues to the highest order and wield more significant power. And I would see that more people would probably turn to Satanism because there's tangible proof of those demons and the power that they wield that some might try to summon demons for selfish reasons. Add to that Mix Corporations who would try to actually own places in hell...

Verdict: The Situation would cause infinitely more stupidity than just mining Hell for Argent. I think it would create new sects worshiping the demons, fierce zealotry unlike what we've ever seen for the Judeo-Christian Faith (maybe not so much the Jews because they never believed in Hell)... but at the end... yeah, Greed will win out. Our civilization today will eventually make the same mistakes the world in Doom 2016 did.

Hmm, the whole hypothetical finding hell thing I'm not too sure about. Like how would there be any way to prove for certain it is the actual biblical hell and not just a place that coincidentally resembles our common depictions? The unfortunately shaped indigenous fauna might like a casual bit of needless violence and harbours some disturbing habits, perhaps, we shouldn't leap to conclusions. Maybe send David Attenborough in to film a few nature documentaries at least; get a handle on their mating rituals and social behaviour before denouncing them the pure spawn of satan.

It's similar to the idea of meeting a being who has all the perceived qualities of god, claims to be god, but could very well just be a highly evolved entity capable of feats we cannot yet understand and likes tricking us simple creatures for their own amusement. Would finding people who are known to be definitely dead getting tortured there be enough? And if so, why don't we launch a rescue mission for those people? Bring them back, if it's a solid physical place anyone can wander into! Also, does that mean heaven is loitering about somewhere in this vast meatspace and we've just gotta find it? Surely they wouldn't mind lending us a bit of holy energy, if they're so bloody saintly? Probably got an impressive buffet there too. Or does that place work on totally different logic? I say we check Pluto first. It's always had a suspicious look about it.

Pointless ramble aside, The Purge is a setting that certainly doesn't seem realistic initially, not sure it was ever claiming to be either. Though sometimes society does make me question the possibility every now and then. Especially the class war aspect of it. I personally think there are no bounds to humanity's stupidity, given the right environment and circumstances. So can't quite rule that setting out entirely here. Desperation, poverty and propaganda campaigns can convince people of far too much bullshit as it is.

@ Obsidian Jones

Proof would do little. I remember a talk by one of my Church Leaders, Dieter Uchtdorf, talk about a head of a learnin hospitle where he realized a number of CIDS at his hospital were do to doctors working on both the dead and the laboring mothers. When he told of his findings, and how washing hands helped prevent a good chunk of the deaths of his hospital. But no other medile expert could or would believe the healing hands of a doctor could be a cause of death. It took a Dr. Lister a couple a hundred years later to get everyone onboard with the washing of hands thing.

Also look at today with Immunization, false causes of autism, or even obvious warning signs of an abusive relationship and they need to RUN AWAY and NEVER RETURN to that monster. It is mind numbing how many people believe Immunization causes this or that, half the crap my fellow autistics have to put up with, or how gaslighting, physical,mental emotional, and sexualy abusive relations can indeed be obvious and your love ones know what they are saying when they say you are dating an monster.

As for how stupid is humanity?
Snuggies; Trump As President; Invading Russia in Winter; Making the pinto a bomb on wheels when it could have had a rubber "bladder" like lining in the fuel tank to make it one of the safer cars on the market; 90% of video game based movies and OVA's; 90% of movie based video games; Killer Bees; Murder Hobos in RPG's...

One setting I have to wonder about is Aliens. Movies 1 and 2, Waylin Yutany seems to want this to fail. Why not have a scientific team go after the first one, and bring back an sample to a research station away from public? Has to be both safer and saner than say crew of merchant sailors in space hauling several million dollars worth of cargo, with several billion in both the refinery and tug? Or latter, sending a crew of marines that are mostly half cocked led by an inexperianced comander? Granted Burk is an idiot, but he probably wasn't acting alone, nore would his messages to and fro to the colony probably not looked at by security and the higher ups.

Refer to saint of m's post. I would consider it a true challenge for us to find a movie where you could point at it and say 'real humans would not be that stupid'. Even Idiocracy seems amusingly quaint now, although some other comedies might meet the criteria here.

I submit the Fast and the Furious series. Specifically, for the conceit that American law enforcement agencies have now called upon the services of Dominic Toretto and his circle of ex-criminal friends/family so many times based entirely on their ability to drive cars really well in order to defeat groups of criminals and terrorists, as supposed to, say, the army. And the fact that it works.

Once you've had Rolling Coal explained to you, there's not much that seems beyond human stupidity (particularly if you can mix in a dash of spitefulness)

*Before reading thread*

Yes. Yes we would be that stupid.

*clears throat* Sorry, what's the context?

ObsidianJones:

So, Would We Be That Stupid... to Harness Hell for our Energy needs?

Yes. Yes we would be that stupid.

To paraphrase Einstein "Only two things are infinite. The Universe, and human idiocy, and I'm not completely sure about the universe".

We live in a world where people still kill each other in some parts of the world because of suspicions of witchcraft or heresy or being LGBT or otherwise "different".

We live in a world where with all the information at our disposal, some people still think the world is flat and that there's a conspiracy to keep the truth hidden for.....No adequately explainable reason.

Where despite endless proof people still think vaccines are evil eugenics tools designed to give everyone autism and to quote on person I used to know "Make them too stupid to realize that the illuminati run everything, thus turning humanity into nothing but blind stupid sheep. I see it working already!".

Where despite rising global temperature trends and increasing natural disasters and basically all relevant scientists screaming "iceberg dead ahead!", people are still pushing against a shift to renewable/non-pollutant energy sources and some even do that "rolling coal" thing in protest against doing anything about it.

There. Is. No. Bottom. To the barrel of human stupidity.

So yeah, no amount of idiocy surprises me. It just depresses me more and more to see that I'm right.

Metroid: Other M

What do you do when you discover an highly aggressive alien species that can kill any creature in the universe in seconds, is resilient to almost all weaponry and it was seemed so dangerous that the whole species had to be exterminated from the Galaxy? Well, duh! Clone it from a DNA sample and remove all of its weaknesses from its genetic code.

I've gotten to the point where no matter how stupid characters act in fiction I will never say that they acting too stupid to be believable. So yes, no matter what it is I would actually believe we would be that stupid.

Primarchs. Would we really be so stupid to make literal immortal demiGods, capable of beyond science reasoning, speed, intellect and military tactical thinking, to the point literal magical daemons that do no obey the laws of Physics can't beat them, give them Legions of hundreds of thousands of zealous genetically engineered 'Sons' with the most advanced weaponry conceivable, and not have an in-built killswitch?

Every advanced piece of technology we have can be turned off, in the case that they malfunction or are misused. The Emperor should have been able to just say...I dunno, "Blue Tomato Friday Boxcars Seven" and the primarchs should just fall into comas.

Silentpony:
Primarchs. Would we really be so stupid to make literal immortal demiGods, capable of beyond science reasoning, speed, intellect and military tactical thinking, to the point literal magical daemons that do no obey the laws of Physics can't beat them, give them Legions of hundreds of thousands of zealous genetically engineered 'Sons' with the most advanced weaponry conceivable, and not have an in-built killswitch?

Every advanced piece of technology we have can be turned off, in the case that they malfunction or are misused. The Emperor should have been able to just say...I dunno, "Blue Tomato Friday Boxcars Seven" and the primarchs should just fall into comas.

Imperium Secundus....

You better believe we'd be that stupid. Human history is one long daisy-chain of improvements and disasters via trial and error. Ethical consideration usually comes last and always too late.

They knew the Titanic only had lifeboats for half the passengers. But it took the massive loss of life to happen before regulations forced there to be lifeboats for all. Asbestos claimed its first confirmed victim in 1906 and was still in use 70 years later. Chernobyl blew because the safety checks had to be disabled during tests. Three Mile Island nearly melted through because the design allowed coolant to gradually leak out of the Reactor. Pretty much every safety measure you can imagine only came about after people died, proving the need for them. And whatever you do don't look up the Radium Girls. Suffice to say that it's only thanks to them that an employer can be taken to court over labour abuse.

Silentpony:
Primarchs. Would we really be so stupid to make literal immortal demiGods, capable of beyond science reasoning, speed, intellect and military tactical thinking, to the point literal magical daemons that do no obey the laws of Physics can't beat them, give them Legions of hundreds of thousands of zealous genetically engineered 'Sons' with the most advanced weaponry conceivable, and not have an in-built killswitch?

Every advanced piece of technology we have can be turned off, in the case that they malfunction or are misused. The Emperor should have been able to just say...I dunno, "Blue Tomato Friday Boxcars Seven" and the primarchs should just fall into comas.

Eh, if the chaos gods hadn't scattered them and corrupted half of them, wouldn't be a problem. Having actual gods oppose you explains away a lot of problems. And imagine if "Blue Tomato Friday Boxcars Seven" got out and you'd ruined your military and really annoyed them as well.

As an aside, the Dark Angels have introduced that, which is a disaster waiting to happen.

Squilookle:
Chernobyl blew because the safety checks had to be disabled during tests. Three Mile Island nearly melted through because the design allowed coolant to gradually leak out of the Reactor.

Chernobyl is worse then that. They knowingly violated their own written safety procedures, turned off the automatic safeties and operated the plant in almost an adhoc fashion inconsistent with how it was supposed to be operated normally, let alone for a controlled test. Combined that with a flawed design(control rods that momentarily caused power to rise during a shutdown and a reactor large enough to have parts of it be at wildly different power levels simultaneously). In the investigation afterwards, I believe it was noted in the post accident investigation that nobody thought such a thing could happen because a number of different issues would all have to come to bear at the exact same time, a perfect storm, if you will.

Three mile Island, while shitty, was somewhat less shitty and stupid by comparison, where the indications were misleading, among other things, so the plant operators didn't realize they were steadily losing reactor coolant and the water in the core was boiling off(and causing leaks in the fuel rods). At least TMI didn't blow the entire roof of with radioactive steam.

Squilookle:
You better believe we'd be that stupid. Human history is one long daisy-chain of improvements and disasters via trial and error. Ethical consideration usually comes last and always too late.

They knew the Titanic only had lifeboats for half the passengers. But it took the massive loss of life to happen before regulations forced there to be lifeboats for all. Asbestos claimed its first confirmed victim in 1906 and was still in use 70 years later. .

Also asbestos is making a comeback now:
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-asbestos-707642/

Back OT, I get the feeling that even if a movie or show was made portraying a level of stupidity that reality can't match, it wouldn't sell very well due to having no characters the audience could empathize with. For example, Mars Attacks has many of the human characters be so stupid or egotistical that you don't even feel bad when they're vaporized, but there's still some other characters who are actually cognizant of the danger they're in, taking it seriously and trying to help each other survive and stop the invasion.
Maybe certain episodes of the Simpsons count?

saint of m:
Invading Russia in Winter;

Pedantry alert, but as far as I'm aware in all the famous instances of Russian winter causing problems, the invasion didn't take place in winter. Both Napoleon's Invasion of Russia and Operation Barbarossa began in June, which is pretty squarely in the summer.

The main military mistakes of these campaigns were:

a) Being over-optimisitc regarding the speed of the campaign. Napoleon believed a decisive battle would quickly force Russia out of the war, but instead after being defeated the Russian army just retreated back into the heartland and waited the French out. Similarly, Barbarossa came off the back of the wildly successful invasion of France a year earlier, and was basically the result of Hitler's overconfidence and a mistaken belief that the Soviet Union was about to collapse.
b) It turns out Russian autumn also really sucks. So does Russian spring. Seriously, Russia basically has no good seasons.

evilthecat:

saint of m:
Invading Russia in Winter;

Pedantry alert, but as far as I'm aware in all the famous instances of Russian winter causing problems, the invasion didn't take place in winter. Both Napoleon's Invasion of Russia and Operation Barbarossa began in June, which is pretty squarely in the summer.

The main military mistakes of these campaigns were:

a) Being over-optimisitc regarding the speed of the campaign. Napoleon believed a decisive battle would quickly force Russia out of the war, but instead after being defeated the Russian army just retreated back into the heartland and waited the French out. Similarly, Barbarossa came off the back of the wildly successful invasion of France a year earlier, and was basically the result of Hitler's overconfidence and a mistaken belief that the Soviet Union was about to collapse.
b) It turns out Russian autumn also really sucks. So does Russian spring. Seriously, Russia basically has no good seasons.

I don't have a source off the top of my head, but apparently Hitler and the top brass were warned that an Invasion of Russia couldn't be sustained long term which lead to the planners making a bunch of incredibly idealistic assumptions about the invasion, up to and including that Stalin was such an asshole that the Russians would gladly defect to help the invading Germans(despite the Nazis anti-slavic policies). Pretty much none of them turned out to be true.

IIRC, the Russians didn't intend to retreat and stretch Napoleon's supply lines, it just sorta happened after they were defeated and driven back. Luckily for them it turned out to be the right move, but they didn't really chose it.

The Germans in WW2 couldn't sustain long term warfare in general due to their economy, they'd thrown everything into the war effort and unless they could quickly conquer other places and steal their infrastructure and resources, the Third Reich would fall over and collapse. They also underestimated Soviet forces, not just initially, but throughout the war. The Germans kept looking at the casualties they'd caused, compared them to what they thought the Soviets had and concluding that one more big effort would win the war, no need to plan for a prolonged campaign. When that failed, they looked at how much damage they'd did, and again, they must only be one more big push from victory.

(My family from the USSR used to say there were 4 seasons, Snow, Mud, Flies and Autumn)

 

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