“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
– Albert Einstein
Carlo Maria Cipolla (1922 – 2000) was an Italian economic historian, most famous for his essay on human stupidity. Here are Cipolla’s 5 fundamental laws of human stupidity.
1) Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
2) The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
3) A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
4) Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
5) A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.