The five universal laws of human stupidity - Deepstash

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The Numbers

The Numbers

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

No matter how many idiots you suspect yourself surrounded by, 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.

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Nothing Else Matters

Nothing Else Matters

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

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.

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The Golden Law Of Stupidity

The Golden Law Of Stupidity

Law 3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

A stupid person is one who causes problems for others without any clear benefit to himself.

The uncle unable to stop himself from posting fake news articles on Facebook? Stupid. The customer service representative who keeps you on the phone for an hour, hangs up on you twice, and somehow still manages to screw up your account? Stupid.

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Stupidity Vs Non-Stupidity

Stupidity Vs Non-Stupidity

There are three phenotypes that co-exist alongside stupidity.

First, there is the intelligent person, whose actions benefit both himself and others. Then there is the bandit, who benefits himself at others’ expense. And lastly, there is the helpless person, whose actions enrich others at his own expense.

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The Non-Stupid

The Non-Stupid

The non-stupid are a flawed and inconsistent bunch. Sometimes we act intelligently, sometimes we are selfish bandits, sometimes we act helplessly and are taken advantage of by others, and sometimes we’re a bit of both. The stupid, in comparison, are paragons of consistency, acting at all times with unyielding idiocy.

However, consistent stupidity is the only consistent thing about the stupid. This is what makes stupid people so dangerous.

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Unreasonable Behaviour

Unreasonable Behaviour

Essentially stupid people are dangerous and damaging because reasonable people find it difficult to imagine and understand unreasonable behaviour. An intelligent person may understand the logic of a bandit. The bandit’s actions follow a pattern of rationality: nasty rationality, if you like, but still rationality.

With a stupid person all this is absolutely impossible as explained by the Third Basic Law. A stupid creature will harass you for no reason, for no advantage, without any plan or scheme and at the most improbable times and places. 

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A Costly Mistake

A Costly Mistake

Law 4: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances, dealing and/or associating with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

We underestimate the stupid, and we do so at our own peril.

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Hidden Danger

Law 5: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.

We can do nothing about the stupid. The difference between societies that collapse under the weight of their stupid citizens and those who transcend them is the makeup of the non-stupid. Those progressing in spite of their stupid possess a high proportion of people acting intelligently, those who counterbalance the stupid’s losses by bringing about gains for themselves and their fellows.

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theat

Problem solver. Award-winning reader. Devoted food geek. Certified travel evangelist. Incurable explorer.

Stupid People: A Primer

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