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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 10:59AM

Brothers and Sisters, the spirit has moved me and I feel inspired to recommend the following book as an Exmo Canon.

"The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity" by Carlo M. Cipolla

Since time immemorial, a powerful dark force has hindered the growth of human welfare and happiness. It is more powerful than the Mafia or the military. It has global catastrophic effects and can be found anywhere from the world’s most powerful boardrooms to your local pub. This is the immensely powerful force of human stupidity.

Seeing the shambolic state of human affairs, and sensing the dark force at work behind it, Carlo M. Cipolla, the late, noted professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, created a vitally important economic model that would allow us to detect, know and neutralise this threat: The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.

If you've ever found yourself despairing at the ubiquity of stupidity among even the most 'intellectual' of people, then this hilarious, timely and slightly alarming little book is for you. Arm yourself in the face of baffling political realities, unreasonable colleagues or the unbridled misery of Christmas day with the in-laws with the first and only economic model for stupidity.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 11:12AM

Here's a Wiki about him:

"These are Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity:

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

2.The probability that a certain person (will) 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."

He categorizes people into four broad categories: Helpless people, Intelligent people, Stupid people, and Bandits (which I'm interpreting to be narcissists and sociopaths.)

I was raised to be so naive (partly by way of religion,) that it took me a very long time to beware of the stupid people and the bandits. Even now I have to keep a sharp eye out. I assumed that the majority of humanity were people of good will who want to be fair, honest, and equitable. Well, there are a lot of those people, but a lot of self-interested people and con artists as well.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 12:00PM

I was not only raised to be naive, I was especially good at it.

But when I got to school, we were all very aware of who was very stupid and who was very smart. That was all highlighted with grades and test scores and we all knew who was who with regard to Book Smarts. Stupidly we thought that was enough. The be-all-end-all. Straight A's and desperately in need of street smarts.

All seems to boil down to compartmentalization.

I noticed years later milling around in real life, it's not so blatantly evident who is smart and who is stupid and there is a tendency for all of us to seem to be more on the same level with few Einsteins sprinkled in and a jack ass popping up here and there to prove the rule. But otherwise, no one is wandering around with a "D-" on their forehead even if they depend on the make and year of their car to feed their ego.

Also, we seem to assume that people are all basically good deep down. They aren't. Not just stupid but mean too,some . . . many?

This last year though, I see a lot of F's everywhere. A lot. They advertise now. They broadcast on their iPhones. I think there's an App now titled "I.M.saDum." If not there should be.

I ordered that book today. Want to see what Carlo has to say about how to deal with the stupid. Also I love that he sees how well educated people can have a big side of stupidity. Compartmentalizing again probably. Any insight would be welcome as I would like to take a few well aimed but classy pot shots at some people I know in the future. Aiming over their heads of course.

Religion is where intelligence goes to die, but there seem to be plenty or ways for it to be injured along the way. And the Mormon church is expert.

"Stupid on Purpose is the new Smart" in our society for many I am afraid.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 12:04PM

What Rule 2) means is that no matter how smart you think you or another person might be, it's not smart enough to never be stupid.

If you tell me that you've never done anything 'stupid', you're either lying or you're stupid.

Not to put to fine a point to it, but more than a few of my memorable occasions have arisen out of my personal stupidity.

Remember that time you dated someone so far out of your league (either up or down; doesn't matter) and thought you were the cat's meow? And now you shake your head and wonder, 'what the hell was I thinking?'     - - Looking at you, Gladys night of the pips' queak.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 12:27PM

Lately, and I think as a by-product of my age, I am plagued by pop-up memories of the stupid things I have done in life. These all have to do with being caught looking stupid--no way to deny it.

But for these painful rememberances I start chanting to myself, "I have no past, I have no past, I have no past . . ." 20 of these and my mind finds another subject.

Sort of works like a 'namyohorengekyo", except better. I have my own set of Sutras. Important, that.

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Posted by: nli ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 03:01PM

I recently watched a film that takes place in the year 2500, and it is frightening. It shows how humanity gradually grows stupider and stupider. It's billed as a "comedy" but it made me feel grateful that I will not be around then, when an ordinary 21st century man tests out with a higher IQ than any one else in the world.

"Idiocracy" with Luke Wilson. Watch free at

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 03:28PM

Cyril Kornbluth wrote this compelling little saga in 1951!

In his version, 95% of the world is stupid and the other 5% are driving themselves crazy trying to stick any handy appendages in the leaking dikes. They finally stumble on a solution . . .

I read this in my youthiness and it has haunted me ever since. It's titled "The Marching Morons". And you can read it at

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: April 05, 2021 10:34PM

Stupidity to me is an organization that claims to be good / beneficial for adherents, but:

- Doesn't constantly refer to its claimed basic values, motivation, goals

- Continual if not constant focus on peripherals which are often if not always in a temporary state, ever changing but past is denied.

- Demands a lot, returns very little

- 'Do what I say, Not what I do'

- Hides details, almost -0- transparency

and the people who support it.

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