Sunday, November 19, 2006

The laws of human stupidity

Via a comment on turcopolier

"The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity, according to Dr. Cipolla:

First Law - Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

This is not as obvious as it sounds, says Cipolla, because:

1. people whom one had once judged rational and intelligent turn out to be unashamedly stupid; and,

2. day after day, with unceasing monotony, one is harassed in one’s activities by stupid individuals who appear suddenly and unexpectedly in the most inconvenient places and at the most improbable moments.

Second Law
The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

Stupidity quotients appear unrelated to gender, ethnic heritage, education or other sociodemographic.

Third (and Golden) Law
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.

Fourth Law
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.

Fifth Law
A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

The Fourth Law greatly resonates with me. ( if anyone wants an example).