LThe cause of human extinction is nuclear explosion? climate change? Or a meteorite hit the earth? Carlo M. Cipolla, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, is convinced that there is only one word for the force that poses the greatest threat to human existence-stupid.
Cipolla explained that stupid people have some common characteristics, such as their large numbers, acting irrationally, creating problems for others without obvious benefit to themselves, thereby reducing the overall well-being of society. He believes that there is no defense against stupidity, and that the only way to keep society from being overwhelmed by the burden of these fools is for the non-stupid people to work harder to offset the losses caused by fools.
Do you think it is too cruel and exaggerated? Cipolla published a paper in 1976 outlining the 5 fundamental laws of ignorance. The articles are more than 40 years old, but the content is never out of date. Maybe because “people are stupid and have no medicine”, we have always been with the “sickness”.
First Law: Everyone inevitably always miscalculates the number of fools
In the paper, Cipolla writes that no matter how many fools you guess around, you will inevitably underestimate the total. Because we have some biased assumptions that it is impossible to be stupid if you work in certain jobs (such as doctors, lawyers, and professors), have a certain level of education (graduated from a prestigious school or a doctorate), or have other characteristics. Of course, they all surprised us, just look at those senior officials and councilors.
Second Law: The probability that each person is an idiot is independent of other characteristics of that person
Cipolla argues that “ignorance” is a constant variable among all populations. Gender, race, nationality, education, income, whatever category you can think of, has a fixed percentage of dumb people. So there are stupid professors in universities, there are stupid people in UN General Assembly, there are stupid people in every country in the world. How many fools are there among us? It’s hard to say. Anyway, when you try to guess, you violate the first law again.
The third law: The so-called stupid person is the kind of person who hurts others or a group of people, but does not benefit himself or may even reverse the loss.
This is one of Cipolla’s “golden rules of ignorance”, idiots do harm to others, such as the uncle who can’t control himself to keep posting fake news to Facebook, or the guy who makes you wait for 1 hour, hangs up twice and tries to screw up your account customer service. He also pointed out that this law also brings out 3 kinds of people who coexist with fools: the first is wise, their actions are beneficial to themselves and others; the second is robbers, harming others to benefit themselves; the third is helpless People who use themselves to perfect others.
Non-dumb people are a bunch of flawed and inconsistent people. Sometimes we’re smart; sometimes we’re selfish and bad; sometimes we’re miserable and taken advantage of; and sometimes we’re both. Instead, fools act stupidly, consistently and unrelentingly. Cipolla is convinced that this is the horror of stupid people, because even robbers have logic in doing bad things, which allows people to predict and prevent them, but it is difficult for rational people to imagine and understand the irrational behavior of stupid people.
Stupid creatures will harass you without reason, advantage, planning, at the most inappropriate time and place. You have no rational way of determining if, when, how and why this stupid creature will attack you. When you face a stupid person, you are only at the mercy of the other person.
The Fourth Law: Non-dumb people often underestimate the destructive power of dumb people
Above all, they forget from time to time that, at any time, place, or situation, dealing with fools or being with them will prove to be a costly mistake afterwards. We underestimate the folly and put ourselves at risk.
The Fifth Law: A fool is the most dangerous person, more dangerous than a robber
We can’t do anything about fools. Under the pressure of these idiots and non-idiots, the differences between societies collapse. A large percentage of those who make progress despite stupidity act shrewdly, undoing the losses caused by stupidity by bringing gains to themselves and their fellows. As for those societies in decline, the proportion of stupid people is similar to that of successful people, and there are also some helpless people.
Cipolla also warns: “With the fools, the bandits proliferate.” He points out: “The demographic shift of the non-dumbs inevitably increases the destructive power of ignorance and dooms the country, straight to hell.”