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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Does the Internet make idiots of us all? My answer is a resounding "I need no help in that department"

Here's a good insult for you.

My great favourite Dr. Johnson said unkindly of the playwright Sheridan (who was actually brilliant) :

"Why, Sir, Sherry is dull, naturally dull. But it must have taken a deal of effort to become as we see him now. Such an excess of stupidity is not in nature."

This brings me to my favourite subject - me.

You probably never noticed, but yesterday I sent out a blog heading without copy which read "Another magnificent display of incompetence from the man who has infuriated" - then stopped.

You could call this "art imitating life". It may not have infuriated anyone - we get an ample supply of garbage in our in-boxes already - but it certainly was incompetent.

The question is, though, can I blame the internet for my excess of stupidity?

I think it enables me to make the sort of mistakes I've always made - but much faster.

For instance, years ago I wrote a mailing for
Management Today. After it went out (instead of before, which would have been intelligent) I rang my friend Victor Ross, former chairman of The Reader's Digest to ask if he'd look over the mailing.

He had actually received it, and said: "You have not said whether it's a weekly or a monthly."

Luckily the mailing did pretty well - but no thanks to my stupidity.

With the help of the internet I could have made the mistake much faster (and less expensively).

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