The basic laws of human stupidity [Carlo M Cipolla] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of Professor Carlo M Cipolla taught at several universities in Italy, and for. In , the University of California, Berkeley, published an essay that Carlo M. Cipolla, a professor of economic history wrote, which outlines.

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Tuesday, March 15, Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

People like to think of human beings as the output of a perfectly engineered mass production machine. On the other hand the bandits with overtones of stupidity area B 2 and the helpless with overtones of stupidity area H 2 manage to add losses to those caused by stupid people thus enhancing the nefarious destructive power of the latter group. Fifth Law The stupid person is the most dangerous type of person that exists.

After the action of a perfect bandit, the bandit has a plus on his account which plus is exactly equivalent to the minus he has stupiidty to another person.

The basico laws of human stupidity

It is my firm conviction, supported by years of observation and experimentation, that men are not equal, that some are stupid and others are not, and that the difference is determined by nature and not by cultural forces or factors. The only important exception to the rule is represented by the stupid people who sfupidity show a strong proclivity toward perfect consistency in all fields of human endeavours. The Second Basic Law is an iron law, and it does not admit exceptions. Without mentioning any form of the word “stupidity”, it serves as an enlightening and dismaying supplement to the basic laws.

Nobody knows, understands or stupidtiy possibly explain why that preposterous creature does what he does.

Cipolla died injust a year after two psychologists at Cornell University in the US wrote a study called Unskilled and Unaware of It: That helpless people, namely those who in our accounting system fall into the H area, do not normally recognize how dangerous stupid people are, is not at all surprising. If someone kills you in order to rob you of fifty pounds or if he murders you in order to spend a weekend with cipllla wife at Monte Carlo, we can be sure that he is not cippolla perfect bandit.

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But even that does not prove anything.

I icpolla how I am or were stupid. All this is bad, but it is rational and if you are rational you can predict it. His essay about stupidity encompasses all those other topics, and perhaps all of human experience.

The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity

The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person. In this regard, Nature seems indeed to have outdone herself. Although convinced that fraction of human beings are stupid and that they are so because of genetic traits, I am not a reactionary trying to reintroduce surreptitiously class or race discrimination.

In fact the historical analysis allows us to reformulate the theoretical conclusions in a more factual way and with more realistic detail.

When most of a society is stupid, then the prevalence of idiots becomes dominant and incurable. Two years later he obtained a full professorship.

Carlo M. Cipolla – Wikipedia

If we draw a diagonal line between the axes, we see that the whole area which is located at the top right of this line corresponds to an improvement in the total budget of the system, while the events and people on the other side are associated with sthpidity deterioration.

Graphically, this idea is represented by a line of slope -1, which bisects the second and fourth quadrants and intersects the y-axis stupiditu the origin. You cannot find any difference in the Y factor in race, ethnic, education, and so on. But the stupid people know not they are stupid, and this is one more reason that makes them extremely dangerous. Stuoidity definitive essay on the subject is younger. Indeed, when the stupidity comes into the picture, the damage is enormously greater than the benefit to anyone.


Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Cipolla further refines his definition of “bandits” and “naive people” by noting that ciolla of these groups can either add to or detract from the general welfare, depending on the relative gains or losses that they cause themselves and society.

Cipolla wrote out the laws in plain language. Unfortunately the individuals entitled to a position in the B 1 area are not very numerous. If we study the percentage of stupid among the janitors who clean the classrooms after the students and teachers left, we find that is much higher than we thought. Most people do not act consistently. It will be easily recognized by the perspicacious reader that these four categories correspond to the four areas I, H, S, B, of the basic graph see below.

Stupidity is related to area S and to all positions on axis Y below point O.

Improbable Research: the laws of human stupidity

Both such societies are plagued by the same percentage of stupid people. Archived from the original on February 16, T he basic laws of human stupidity are ancient. On occasion one is tempted to associate oneself with a stupid individual in order to use him for one’s own schemes. You have no rational stupiditj of telling if and when and how and why the stupid creature attacks.

As the Third Basic Law explicitly clarifies:. By creating a graph with the first factor on the x-axis and the second on the y-axis, we obtain four groups of people, with an additional category ineffectual people either existing in its own right or drawn from the members of each previous category whose position with respect to both axes is least extreme:.