Friday, June 10, 2011

Is Stupidity Rising?

As you all know, it's a question I put to you at regular intervals. It takes no thought whatever to answer the question. The evidence, in my opinion, is overwhelming that we're soon to be completely inundated, drowned miserably in a vast ocean of stupidity. Ran across an interesting article on a blog called "The Hammock Physicist." In it, the blogger, one Johannes Koelman, references a 35-year old article by Italian economic historian Carlo Cipolla entitled "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity". Let me quote:

"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."
"Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation."
"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."
and further
"Our daily life is mostly, made of cases in which we lose money and/or time and/or energy and/or appetite, cheerfulness and good health because of the improbable action of some preposterous creature who has nothing to gain and indeed gains nothing from causing us embarrassment, difficulties or harm. Nobody knows, understands or can possibly explain why that preposterous creature does what he does. In fact there is no explanation - or better there is only one explanation: the person in question is stupid." 
What's to argue with here? All you have to remember is Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Precisely.

Think George W. Bush. Think Anthony Weiner. Think your basic person on the street in any city in America. It's all very distressing.

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