The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity


no hurry, no pause.


The basic laws assert that Cipolla (2019)

  1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  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 to deal and/or associate with stupid people infallibly turns out to be a costly mistake.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.
Cipolla Matrix

Intelligence and stupidity are not the opposite of one another, nor is stupidity the lack of intelligence, but intelligence is the product, more or less unsuccessful, of a continuous series of attempts to dominate, or escape, the stupidity that constitutes everything that is human — Matthijs Van Boxsel.


Cipolla, C. M. (2019). The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity.