According to Wittgenstein, if people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever happen. When The Amazing Blog came across with the chance of reviewing this unique and quirky book, we couldn’t just say no. Stephen Bayley talks objects, abstract concepts, technology, ideas and opinions... in a nutshell, about anything that makes the world tick.
When I began reading The Dictionary of Idiocy I was delighted with the way it started: “This is a book about opinions. It is a misguided tour with no real beginning or end, but one which passes some interesting places on the way. Opinions require knowledge and a quest for knowledge is a defining characteristic of civilisation”.
Stephen Bayley does a brilliant job gathering curious, funny and shocking facts about cars, nudity, art, wine, perfume and many other ‘every day’ issues… general stuff, as they say. One of the things I’ve liked the most about this witty and clever book is that even though the author intends to criticise humanity’s opinions on 'general stuff', Bailey expresses his own with useful and very interesting etymological observations too.
Even the title of the book has an encrypted meaning of its own… “’Idiocy’ has become to mean a deficient intellect, almost synonymous with stupidity, which the dictionary says is a slowness of mental processes. But originally, an ‘idiot’ was a private man. This is the form of idiocy we are examining here: the private man with opinions of his own”.
You can buy Stephen Bayley’s book from Amazon for £6.39.