by Trevor Watkins 2/8/2022
“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Hanlon’s Razor
"Why does the stuff that happens to stupid people keep happening to me?" Homer Simpson
Stupid is as stupid does. Forrest Gump
Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them. George Orwell
'Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.' Martin Luther King
We live in stupid times.
In the recent past we have had the computer age, the space age, the nuclear age. The period since 2020 will be remembered as the stupid age.
As evidence I present
our leaders - Biden, Trudeau, Ardern, Ramaphosa
our obsession with the climate change myths
our obsession with pandemic myths
the entire woke ideology - identity, gender, CRT
the mainstream media
the WEF, UN, WHO
most African states
most Islamic states
most communist states
How is stupid defined?
The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity is a short essay written by the Italian economist Carlo Cipolla. The first edition was written in English and released in 1976.
First Basic Law
Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
Second Basic Law
The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
Third Basic Law
A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or a group of people while they gain nothing or may even suffer losses.
Fourth Basic Law
Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals and stupid ideas.
Fifth Basic Law
Stupid people don’t follow incentives.
The unpredictability of stupid people makes them dangerous.
Stupidity is egalitarian - it is independent of IQ, wealth, race and gender.
Stupidity is infectious. If you associate with stupid people, there is a real chance you will become stupid yourself.
Stupidity is a behaviour - stupid people are the ones who harm others and often themselves. They ignore advice, incentives and predictable consequences. They believe stuff for which there is little or no evidence. Worst of all, they don’t know they are stupid, as shown by the Dunning-Kruger effect.
The cure for stupidity
Although often fatal (consider The Darwin Awards), stupidity is not incurable. Here are some remedies for the condition of stupidity.
Acknowledge your stupidity. Healing only starts when you recognise the problem.
Lean more on other minds. Learn from demonstrably smart people. Read widely.
Avoid binary solutions. Think in terms of probabilities. Not, "Will X or Y occur?" but, "What is the chance of X or Y occurring -- 10, 50, 80 percent?"
Check your premises. Assumption is the mother of most mistakes.
Define your terms.
Prefix everything with “in my opinion”.
Some questions aren't open for personal interpretation.
When you don’t know, say “I don’t know”
Practice common sense and irony
Morality and stupidity
Predictably, morality and stupidity are deeply intertwined. The fundamental rule of morality is “Do no harm”. The basic characteristic of stupidity is doing harm to others without benefit to yourself.
Doing harm to others to benefit yourself is the definition of evil.
Stupidity by individuals is usually a self-correcting mechanism, akin to natural selection. Stupidity coupled with power has been the downfall of many empires and enterprises.
The great insight of the Western tradition, exemplified in the American constitution and the works of Adam Smith and John Locke, is that individuals choosing freely is the most successful and least stupid approach to human prospering.