Monday, April 27, 2009

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

A precious item for anyone who cares. Carlo M. Cipolla's "The Basic Laws of Stupidity" is a short essay I can heartily recommend. You can read the full on-line version at Fravia's. I am inserting just the headlines here, only to remind myself of the foolish mistakes I have done in the past and will undoubtedly do in the future. "What about present?" you may ask. Everything seems sooo right now that one should later look back in time to judge.
  1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.
    Corollary: A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.

 O wheel of time! Why don't you try turning backwards for once?

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Intelligence said...

Too funny! But remember:
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

I don't know where I've heard that from, but I've heard it.

Melissa said...

I see that you've met a large portion of the people I work with! Stupid people ARE more dangerous than people realize and even the nicest, sweetest people can be dumb as rocks. Be nice to stupid people though because likely they are bagging your groceries, making your burger at McDonalds, and selling you unwanted plastic crap at Walmart.

Archiver said...

Hey Melissa! Sorry you had more than your fair share of stupid people. Yet, I do not think being nice to them is a solution as it is most likely to be misunderstood. Best course of action is being neutral. You can do whatever you want to those selling plastic crap, though.

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