The basic laws of human stupidity [Carlo M Cipolla] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of Professor Carlo M Cipolla taught at several universities in Italy, and for. In , the University of California, Berkeley, published an essay that Carlo M. Cipolla, a professor of economic history wrote, which outlines.

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The frequency distribution of the stupid people is totally different from that of the bandit. This theoretical presumption is abundantly confirmed by an exhaustive analysis of historical cases.


cipolla The Y axis measures the benefits to others because of their actions. The reason for this is that by far the majority of stupid people are basically and unwaveringly stupid – in other words they perseveringly insist in causing harm and losses to other people without deriving any gain, whether positive or negative.

No matter how high are one’s estimates of human stupidity, one is repeatedly and recurrently startled by the fact that:. It is also quite clear that, depending stupidit their location in this system people will have greater or lesser degree of stupidity, intelligence, banditry, cipplla. Retrieved 28 July One is stupid in ckpolla same way one is red-haired; one belongs to the stupid set as one belongs to a blood group. Both such societies are plagued by the same percentage of stupid people.

Intelligent people contribute to society and who leverage their contributions into reciprocal benefits. As the Third Basic Law explicitly clarifies:. The First Basic Law prevents me from attributing a specific numerical value to the fraction of stupid people within the total population: A stupid person is one stuppidity causes harm to another person or group of persons while deriving no gain himself and even possibly incurring a loss.

The most remarkable fact about the frequency of stupidity is that Nature succeeds in making this frequency equal to the probability quite independently from the size of the group.

Carlo M. Cipolla

But if we look at students and university professors or software designers the rate is exactly the same. Fourth Law Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid people.


We do not know how Nature achieves this remarkable result but we know that in order to achieve it Nature must operate with large numbers. The only important exception to the rule is represented by the stupid people who normally show a strong proclivity toward perfect consistency in all fields of human endeavours.

The bandit’s actions follow a pattern of rationality: It came round about by way of reader Sam Keen, who sent to the UK a thin gray monograph printed anonimously in mid in Bologna, Italy. And the country goes to Hell.

Improbable Research: the laws of human stupidity | Education | The Guardian

The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person. Cultural trends now fashionable in the West favour an egalitarian approach to life.

Or on the contrary might be trying to take advantage of my stupidity. Unfortunately the individuals entitled to a position in the B 1 area are not very numerous. Indeed, when the stupidity comes into the picture, the damage is enormously greater than the benefit to anyone.

If all members of a society were perfect bandits the society would remain stagnant but there would be no major disaster. We firmly believe that this belongs into any reality cracker’s quiver, and that the best onor to the Author and the best chance that anyone will “buy” his other texts frankly also equally easy to find in many “grey” areas of Internet, but waay less interesting is to allow this nice little essay to be spread around as originally clearly intended by Professor Cipolla himself.

No other set of observable stupixity offers such striking proof of the powers of Nature. Cipolla’s essay gives an X-ray view of what distinguishes countries on the rise from those that are falling. Instead of considering the welfare of the individual let us consider the welfare of the society, regarded in this context as the algebraic sum of the individual conditions.

Whether the Second Basic Law is liked or not, however, its implications are frightening: Order by newest oldest recommendations. The difference between the two societies is that in the society which performs poorly:. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power cioplla stupid people.

There is genius at work in this thesis. While cipollz student there, thanks to professor Franco Borlandi, a specialist in Medieval economic history, he discovered his passion for economic history.


We may assume that is related to the low cultural level or the fact that people are not stupid people more opportunities to have good jobs. The individuals who fall in this area are those whose actions yield to them gains inferior to the losses inflicted ccipolla other people.

Prof. Cipolla’s theory on stupidity

We can recollect cases in which a fellow took an action by which both parties gained: And brings us back to the painful original question: Third Cipopla A stupid person is one who causes harm to another person or group of persons while deriving no gain himself and even possibly incurring a loss.

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Geneticists and sociologists especially go out of their way to prove, with an impressive apparatus of scientific data and formulations that all men are naturally equal and if some are more equal than others, this is attributable to nurture and not to nature. Essentially stupid people are dangerous and damaging because reasonable people find it difficult to imagine and understand unreasonable behaviour.

Archived from the original on February 16, If someone kills you in order to rob you of fifty pounds or if he murders you in order to spend a weekend with your wife at Monte Carlo, we can be sure that he is not a perfect bandit. The stupid person is the most dangerous type of person that exists.

Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. The evidence that education has nothing to do with the probability was provided by experiments carried on in a large number of universities all over the world.

Cipolla produced two essays on economics, circulated in English among friends in andthen published in in Cipollx under the title Allegro ma non troppo “Forward, but not too fast”, “Happy but not too much”, from the musical, “Quickly, but not too quick”.

The Second Basic Law is an iron law, and it does not admit exceptions.