Friday, November 22, 2013

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

"Sadly, it doesn’t matter whether you are talking about the Mafia, the Military Industrial Complex, International Communism, your college classmates or the Democratic or Republican parties, there are always more stupid people than you think. In fact, that is Professor Cipolla’s first basic law:

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

I’ve dealt with some spectacularly stupid people in my time, and I’ve always attributed malignancy or hatefulness to them, but the reality is they’re stupid. And now, thanks to this book, I know why and can now identify them. Had I had it earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and a lot of money. The book describes almost exactly what has happened to me on a number of occasions.

One is tempted to believe that a stupid man will only do harm to himself but this is confusing stupidity with helplessness. On occasion one is tempted to associate oneself with a stupid individual in order to use him for one’s own schemes. Such a manoeuvre cannot but have disastrous effects because a) it is based on a complete misunderstanding of the essential nature of stupidity and b) it gives the stupid person added scope for the exercise of his gifts."

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity -

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