An Idiot Explosion?I found an excellent paper on the political philosopher John Locke's work by a PhD student Stacy Clifford at Vanderbilt. Locke used the word "idiot" frequently, but not the way we use it today. Locke wouldn't have used the term when trading "your mother is ugly" jokes, but it's certainly not out of place in a discussion of political society. You can also apply it to tech. And I bet the farm that Steve Jobs would be on board with taking Clifford's description of Locke's idiocy and applying it to Ballmer:
Idiocy ... signifies the complete and permanent absence of thought. Locke's treatment of idiocy, by creating a subhuman population permanently denied entry into the public political sphere ...That's only slightly different than Jobs's use of the term "bozo." Bozo explosion -- look it up. I wonder if Ballmer remembers saying this: That wasn't the only time. In 2010, Ballmer contradicted Jobs's prediction that PC use would decline rapidly. He spent about 15 minutes at an All Things D conference making no sense about the relationships between devices. People often lose their jobs for missing so badly, particularly on iPhone's success, Zune's failure and Windows Phone's sorry lack of penetration. But, we're used to CEOs playing by different rules than the rest of us. At the very least, you might expect Ballmer to learn from his mistakes and refrain from being so cocky and arrogant. I'm not convinced it qualifies as context, but Ballmer floated some for the aforementioned statement.