From Bayou Renaissance Man:

Friday, November 12, 2021

“The Five Universal Laws of Human Stupidity”

That’s the title of an interesting article I found at Getpocket.  Here’s how it starts.

In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.

Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are abundant, they are irrational, and they cause problems for others without apparent benefit to themselves, thereby lowering society’s total well-being. There are no defenses against stupidity, argued the Italian-born professor, who died in 2000. The only way a society can avoid being crushed by the burden of its idiots is if the non-stupid work even harder to offset the losses of their stupid brethren.

Let’s take a look at Cipolla’s five basic laws of human stupidity:

Law 1: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

No matter how many idiots you suspect yourself surrounded by, Cipolla wrote, you are invariably lowballing the total. This problem is compounded by biased assumptions that certain people are intelligent based on superficial factors like their job, education level, or other traits we believe to be exclusive of stupidity. They aren’t. Which takes us to:

Law 2: The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

Cipolla posits stupidity is a variable that remains constant across all populations. Every category one can imagine—gender, race, nationality, education level, income—possesses a fixed percentage of stupid people. There are stupid college professors. There are stupid people at Davos and at the UN General Assembly. There are stupid people in every nation on earth. How numerous are the stupid amongst us? It’s impossible to say. And any guess would almost certainly violate the first law, anyway.

There’s much more at the link.  Interesting and thought-provoking reading.

I couldn’t help but be struck by the concluding paragraphs.

Declining societies have the same percentage of stupid people as successful ones. But they also have high percentages of helpless people and, Cipolla writes, “an alarming proliferation of the bandits with overtones of stupidity.”

“Such change in the composition of the non-stupid population inevitably strengthens the destructive power of the [stupid] fraction and makes decline a certainty,” Cipolla concludes. “And the country goes to Hell.”

Might that describe the current condition of these United States?  Go read the whole article, then judge for yourself.

PeterPosted by Peter at 11/12/2021 12:08:00 PM3 comments:  Labels: Dilemma,Human interestInteresting factsNo S*** Sherlock!RealityEmail ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest

There are two Americas, and I refuse to live in one of them

Speaking about the Rittenhouse trial, J. KB. of the Gun Free Zone has a trenchant perspective.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Anyone who actually watched the Rittenhouse trial with anything remotely close to an open mind cannot help but come to the inescapable conclusion that not just did the prosecutor not prove that Kyle is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but proved that Kyle is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt … The evidence of self defense couldn’t be clearer.

Not on social media, however.

There, Kyle is guilty of being a mass murdering, sociopathic white supremacist who deserves every horrible fate imaginable.

. . .

I don’t know what percent of American this represents buy what I can tell you is this:

There is absolutely no commonality I have with these people.


They have no interest in evidence.

For them, justice is purely a function of political alignment.

Kyle’s guilt is assured because he was opposed to the rioters and therefore opposed to their politics.

This is how the Soviet Union, East Germany, and every Communist country in Asia and Latin America operated.

This is what they want here.  The justice system to be an enforcer of political ideology.

Those on their side have charges dropped regardless of evidence of guilt and those who oppose them are guilty regardless of evidence of innocence.

We cannot share a country with these people.

It’s impossible for two such divergent value systems to cohabitate in a single nation.

Unfortunately I think deciding which model of justice – impartial based in evidence or biased and partisan based on politics – is the justice system our nation uses will not be decided with it coming to blows.

There’s more at the link.

I’m hearing from more and more friends, acquaintances and contacts who’ve recently traveled through (or moved from) “blue states”.  They describe life there as a dreary existence, regimented, masked, dictatorial, with precious little of the freedom to be oneself that previously existed.  Almost without exception, they describe coming back to “free” or “red” America as a liberation, a release, a joyful experience, where life can be lived free from fear.

I fear J. KB. is right.  I certainly would not live under a totalitarian ideological dictatorship, such as many of the commenters he describes appear to want.  I, too, have watched their reactions to the Rittenhouse trial on social media.  They aren’t listening to the evidence at all.  They filter it through their presuppositions and prejudices, and refuse to take an objective view of the facts.

Take the prosecutor in this case, so roundly rebuked by the judge for crossing legal boundaries and ignoring constitutional and legal safeguards.  Just think . . . in a country dominated by such an ideology, people like that would be the judges as well as the prosecutors, and would be carefully selected to form the juries, too.  There would be no honest, fact- and evidence-based verdicts and sentences at all.

Sarah Hoyt says of them and their ilk:

In their minds humans and societies are neatly ordered spools of yarn, to be woven into any design they choose. In reality human societies and cultures are like several bits of yarn dropped into a basket and used as a play thing by your cats. Pull one end, and you’re actually creating a big mess elsewhere. If you’re lucky there’s no dead mice in the middle of it all.

There is a fatal disconnect. They’re champion planners. And they talk about their success, and therefore scare the living pants out of a lot of people.

But the only thing their plans have achieved is to destroy things that work and leave messes in their place. Their regimes don’t hold.

. . .

Don’t be afraid their plan is “all coming true.” Be afraid of the things they’re breaking as they lurch around with the beehives of panic and stupidity buzzing in their nether orifices.

Again, more at the link.

I think that’s a wonderful image:  “the beehives of panic and stupidity buzzing in their nether orifices”.  That’s their reaction when they look at those of us in “free states”, and realize that we haven’t bought into their totalitarian wet dream, and never will.  Those beehives drive them to try harder and harder to impose their totalitarianism on the rest of us – to “break” us.  That should be a beehive to us in turn, to make us resist them all the harder.

We no longer live in the same America as they do.  They see themselves as an irresistible force, imposing their ideology willy-nilly on everybody else.  The rest of us see ourselves – and our constitution, and our traditions – as an immovable object that will not be dominated.

In the absence of common sense, compromise and good will, there can be only one outcome of that conflict.  One side will have to go to the wall.

Well . . . if that’s how it has to be, so be it.  As long as I’m alive, it won’t be the side of freedom.  I’ve seen at first hand, in all too ghastly detail, what it does to a country when totalitarianism triumphs.  I won’t see it happen here.

This is where all of us who love freedom must align ourselves with our founding fathers, who “mutually pledge[d] to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” in the same cause.  Many of them fulfilled that pledge at the cost of their lives and/or prosperity.  We should expect, and can do, no less.  Not to worry.  We’ll be in good company.