Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


Stupidity is like pornography.

It's quite hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

Billionaire and occasional politician Michael Bloomberg believes he sees it in certain Republican candidates.

It worries him, because stupid can end up being quite dangerous. To business as well as the world.

In an interview with CNN, Bloomberg mused that successful businesspeople understand the dangers of climate change.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, says "some of the stupidest things I've ever heard" on the subject.

Bloomberg seems at a loss to understand how someone described by famous legal professor Alan Dershovitz as "the smartest law student he ever had" could be quite this halfwitted, especially as he's from a party traditionally associated with business.

"There are very few wealthy Americans who are saying climate change is a commie plot," Bloomberg explained. "No business executive in America could survive if they had a risk and they didn't do something about it."

Perhaps Cruz believes that accepting the notion of climate change is bad for his personal Republican business.

Perhaps Cruz feels that allowing policy to be heavily influence by science might extend to other traditional Republican views -- the ease of building a wall between America and Mexico, for example.

Bloomberg, though, believes this isn't about being diehard or high-falutin'.

He said: "So if you have a building that is down low near the water's edge, you don't sit there and argue about whether the oceans will rise or the storms get more furious. You move your building, you build a berm, you buy an insurance policy -- you do something or you will be out of work at the next board meeting."

It may be that some Republican candidates will be out of work by the next debate. However, Bloomberg -- a former Republican himself -- didn't reserve his chilling contempt for just Cruz.

Of slightly somnolent former surgeon Ben Carson, he said: "There's one of them who was a surgeon, unfortunately at Johns Hopkins, who doesn't believe in science. Somebody said that's like a business executive that doesn't believe in profits."

Some might think this logic both persuasive and odd. It certainly seems strange that a surgeon might not respect the latest scientific information as gospel.

However, my impression is that quite a few tech CEOs are rather disdainful of profits -- or, at least, of declaring they exist.

Still, Bloomberg believes that even most of the "right-wing crazies" know that climate change is real. They just think it's God's doing, rather than man's.

The alternative, in Bloomberg's view, is that these apparently intelligent people don't believe what they're saying. They're just pandering to those who want to hear such "stupid things."

The stupid business is, indeed, a little like the porn business. It seems to generate a lot of profit.