“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.” Carlo Cipolla
In the 1970s, an economic historian called Carlo Cipolla wrote a provocative article titled “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity”. This week’s episode is about his theory of the destructiveness of stupid behaviour and why it is so underestimated and misunderstood.
A quick summary
- Everyone underestimates the number of stupid people
- The probability that a person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic
- A stupid person causes loses to others without gains to themselves (consistently)
- Non stupid people underestimates the danger of the stupid
- Stupid people are the most dangerous people