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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Carlo M. Cipolla

A stupid man is born a stupid man by an act of Providence. Countries moving uphill have an inevitable percentage of stupid people, yes. The most remarkable fact about the frequency of stupidity is that Nature succeeds in making this frequency equal to the probability quite independently from the size of the group.

The reason for this is that by far the majority of stupid people are basically and unwaveringly stupid – in other words they perseveringly insist in causing harm and losses to other people without deriving any gain, whether positive or negative. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a stupidiyt of persons, while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

There are four types of people depending on their behavior in a transaction: The militant feminists will get angry, but the percentage of stupid is the same in both sexes or all sexes depending on how they are defined.

Without mentioning any form of the word “stupidity”, it serves as an enlightening and dismaying supplement to the basic laws. And the country goes to Hell. For instance, whether men proliferate at the Northern Pole or at the Equator, whether the matching couples are developed or underdeveloped, whether they are black, red, white or yellow the female to male ratio among the newly born is a constant, with a very slight prevalence of males.

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But if we look at students and university professors or software designers the rate is exactly the same. While bandits are mostly scattered over an area stupid people are heavily concentrated along one line, specifically on the Y axis below point O. I know how I am or were stupid.

The line OM divides the area B into two sub-areas, B 1and B 2and by far the largest majority of the bandits falls somewhere in one of these two sub-areas. Several people told me they are smart. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Carlo M. Cipolla – Wikipedia

They applied a bit of modern mathematics to an old Athenian principle of democracy. Next week, I will tell how some physicists, inspired by Cipolla’s work on stupidity, have come up with an xipolla way to choose politicians. 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 caused to another person. Even by using his values to measure his gains but still using your values to measure your losses he falls in the B 2 area very close to the border of sheer stupidity.

The society as a whole is neither better nor worse off.

People like to think of human beings as the output of a perfectly engineered mass production machine. The system of accounting which finds expression in the basic graphs shows that while all actions of individuals falling to the right of the line POM see fig. It is not difficult to understand how social, political and institutional power enhances the damaging potential of a stupid person.


The individuals who fall in this stupidityy are those whose actions yield to them gains inferior to the losses inflicted to other people. Subsequently he studied at the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics.

Or they could be as stupid as me. It is extremely difficult to explain why this should happen and one can only remark ci;olla when confronted with stupid individuals often intelligent men as well as bandits make the mistake of indulging in feelings of self-complacency and contemptuousness instead of immediately secreting adequate quantities of adrenaline and building up defenses. Cipolla wrote out the laws in plain language. Instead of considering the welfare of the individual let us consider the welfare of the society, regarded in this context as the algebraic sum of the individual conditions.

Improbable Research: the laws of human stupidity | Education | The Guardian

One is tempted to believe that a stupid man will only do harm to himself but this is confusing stupidity with helplessness. Tuesday, March 15, A full understanding of the Fifth Basic Law is essential to the analysis. If Tom takes an action and suffers a loss while producing a gain to Stupudity, Tom’s mark will fall in field H: Views Read Edit View history.