A few nights ago, hubs and I decided to discuss about stupidity as a pre-slumber conversation. Hubs had recently just read an essay called “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity” by an economist named Carlo M. Cipolla. It was published in 1976 and I wonder why it took us this long to finally learn about it.
All I can say is, wow, what a treat!
Never had I read something so illuminating and thought-provoking, helping me to put to rest most of my frustrations with the humankind (and sometimes loved ones).
According to Cipolla, there are 4 laws regarding stupidity and they are:
• Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
Right, how many times have we complained about stupid people and then, bam! More stupid people.
Well, for a quick case, just check Facebook – have you counted the number of people getting shocked at what politicians say or do…again and again and again? This simply goes to show that despite knowing and acknowledging that there are stupid politicians, people never failed to be surprised by more stupid politicians! It’s because we have always been underestimating the amount of stupidity.
• The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
Yeap, no matter whether a person is kind, sweet, funny, witty, has clever parents etc….if they’re stupid, they’re stupid. None of the other traits affect one’s stupidity. Perhaps the other characteristics might make you notice it more or less but you want the quickest ways to find out if one is stupid? Give them Facebook.
• 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.
Now this is my favourite point, because it’s explains stupidity so fluidly and so precisely. Stupidity – people who cause losses to other people while not gaining anything themselves and possibly also causing losses to themselves. People washing cars during water rationing, hello? Whether it’s money, time, energy or loveeeeeeee. Baybeh, ask yourself…are you stupid?
I admit, this particular point has got me to think about my own stupidity and I must say I am stupid to a degree. I get frustrated with stupid people, which is causing loss of energy to myself and that in itself is stupid.
So from now on, I want to be non-stupid.
• 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.
Yeap, stay the eff away. But what if the stupid people are your family? What if they suck the life, happiness and joy out of your life? How can you stop dealing and associating with people that are both stupid and family? I have come to terms with that and yes, you can choose friends AND choose family.
My belief is that people that have any semblance of self-awareness will come to realise that they are behaving stupidly and are causing losses to themselves and other people. But if even with such knowledge that they continue the rampage of stupidity….then it’s time to cut them out till they’ve sorted their own shit out.
So are you stupid or non-stupid? Can you tell?