The basic laws of human stupidity

As a user on reminded me, I said long ago that I would have translated a short booklet that was written by Federico Caffè, an Italian economist, about how human stupidity can affect everybody and why cannot be removed- no matter how high or low in society you go 🙂

it was originally written as an half-serious essay for his students, but it was so successful, that became almost a samizstat (spelling, please…)

Well, I published on October 6th on (The basic laws of human stupidity), a short summary/review, that I re-publish now.

For copyright reference: the English text is different from the Italian original, and anyway it is just few lines out of a approx 100 pages book- so, it should be covered under the “fair use”

I list the laws below, and this is a short summary:
– the amount of human stupidity is a constant
– a stupid is somebody that wastes time and generated damage to somebody else, but this while inflicting to him/herself a similar or, worse, higher degree of damage

the other social types he considers are:
– intelligent people: are beneficial to themselves and the others
– criminal: are beneficial to themselves, while damaging the others; the best criminals are simply generating has much damage or less than the benefit they receive
– naive: are damaging themselves, while generating benefit to the others

I law: we always underestimate the amount of stupid people around
II law: the probability that somebody is stupid is unrelated to any other characteristic of that somebody (e.g. education, class)
III law: a stupid is somebody who damages others without achieving any benefit for her/himself, or while generating a damage to her/himself
IV law: non-stupid people underestimate the damaging potential of stupid people; notably, non-stupid usually forget that anytime and anywhere, having any relationship or business with stupid people is a mistake (a corollary: a stupid people is irrationally stupid- therefore, you cannot predict how much damage and when is going to create damage; my own perception is that, in compliance with Murphy’s law, a stupid will unfold stupidity when damage can be maximized)
V law: a stupid is the most dangerous person existing


ok, this is an exception: I was looking online on a source for the Ascending/Descending litography from M.C.Escher, and the Stadeljik museum did not list the painting, so I went to; they sell copies of the painting and litos from Escher

but why? because the another user on stage6 offered as a challenge to memorize a gobbledygook excerpt from V for Vendetta (a nice allitteration based on V, of course); and in Dutch a meaningless job is said to be a “a monk’s job”, hence the picture above with a neat line of monks walking around 🙂

of course, I posted the reply (, as a picture is worth a thousand words…


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s